Animal rights groups use bird flu to push vegetarianism
Animal welfare groups are using the expected arrival of bird flu in to the
United States of America to push their campaigns against large chicken and egg
factory farms and persuade more Americans to stop eating
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to launch a billboard
campaign next week in Arkansas, home of poultry giant Tyson Foods. The billboard
will show a person dressed as a chicken brandishing a machine gun with a slogan
"Payback Time! Birdflu Kills. Go Vegetarian"
Animal rights groups
accuse the global poultry industry of being the root cause of the bird flu
crisis and other virulent viruses. Claiming that cramped factory conditions,
chicken manure and animal feed encourage the spread of infections in chicken
houses and in the air.
However, the National Chicken Council (NCC),
which represents 95% of US commercial chicken producers, has mounted its own
public relations campaign. It says that the H5N1 virus cannot be contracted by
humans by eating cooked chicken and its members are already testing flocks
before they go to market and enter the food chain.
Richard Lobb said that in Thailand, modern factory flocks did not contract bird
flu whereas village chickens which run free got it from wild birds.
"So I think the animal rights group in that respect are completely
invalid," Lobb said.
The H5N1 bird flu virus is widely expected to
reach the US sometime this year.
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