The pork consumption panic continues today with a new story in The Independent about how Russia is banning the import of pork from Great Britain. A little further down in the article, though, it is added that the ban is a formality, as Russia has already banned pork imports from Great Britain due to fears over foot-and-mouth disease. I’m confused, Russia?
Great Britain is the latest addition to Russia’s growing list, which includes Spain, Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and the country of Spain. Russia has cast an even wider net when it comes to other countries: All meat, including pork, beef, and poultry has been banned as an import from Mexico, Central America, Caribbean countries, California, New York, South Carolina, and Texas. The country has also banned imports of live pigs and pork that have not been heated above 176 degrees F for no less than 30 minutes from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, and Ohio.
To counteract these moves, the pork industry has enacted a campaign to reassure pork consumers that the meat is safe to eat. Russia claims that since the H1N1 virus is so new, and since it is an evolved strain of several other viruses, there is too much uncertainty not to play it safe.
So Egypt is killing all its pigs and Russia doesn’t want any pigs. The saddest victim in this flu game is of course the pig, a smart, sweet animal that has, like other domesticated, feed lot livestock, been abused since industrial farms became the norm. The Swine Flu outbreak is yet another call for clean farming practices, for a national body that oversees all farming conditions on food determined for export.