April 30, 2009—Even though no cases of swine flu have been found in Egypt—in pigs or Humans—the government has ordered an estimated 300,000-plus pigs slaughtered as a swine flu precaution.
© 2009 National Geographic (AP)
The Egyptian government continued slaughtering all pigs in the country on Thursday as a precautionary measure against swine flu, even though no cases have been found.
The killing of an estimated 300-thousand pigs began on Wednesday, infuriating pig farmers.
Unlike bird flu, where the flu strain that spread to humans was widespread in bird populations, the World Health Organization says there is no similar concern about pigs - and no evidence that people have contracted swine flu by eating pork or handling pigs.
Egyptian farmers will be allowed to sell the meat from the slaughtered animals.
SOUNDBITE: (English) Veterinarian: "We work all the day within the 24 hours with all capacity of doctors and workers and slaughters and butchers. We haven't any positive samples taken from pigs in Mansheyet Naser and Masr Al Kadima. We have no positive samples in human beings, so we are free from pig flu."
The mass killing was ordered as a precaution, though no swine flu cases have been reported in Egypt.
Egypt's overwhelmingly Muslim population does not eat pork, but farmers raise pigs for the Christian minority.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control reports swine flu cannot be contracted through eating pork. But several countries, including China, Russia and Ukraine, have banned imports of pork from Mexico and several U.S. states.