Panic or precaution? Countries taking stiff measures to control swine flu

April 30, 2009

Egypt has ordered the slaughter of as many as 400,000 pigs as precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu.

“It has been decided to immediately start slaughtering all the pigs in Egypt using the full capacity of the country’s slaughterhouses,” Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly told reporters after a Cabinet meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.

The country has been hit hard by bird flu and the Egyptian governenment fears another flu virus could spread quickly amongst the country’s densely-packed slums.

In Chennai, India offcials have ordered the slaughter of all pigs within the city premises. The decision follows a health department directive to local bodies to ensure that pigs are removed from human habitations. Chennai has assigned a 25-member team to go around residential areas for culling operations.

South Korea is suspending imports of live hogs from North America, while China, the world’s top pork consumer, banned imports of swine products from Mexico and parts of the U.S. Indonesia said April 27 it will destroy all imported pork and swine products and fumigate agricultural goods bought from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico as a precaution.Thailand also has suspended imports of U.S. and Mexican pork and set up scanners at Bangkok’s main airport to check arriving passengers for signs of swine flu. Philippines officials have ordered stricter monitoring of all its ports to block entry of hogs and pork from the United States and Mexico.

Indonesia has temporarily halted imports of pork, though media reports were unclear as to whether the country is banning all U.S. pork or just pork from certain states. Jordan, meanwhile, has banned imports of all types of meat, including pork, from the United States and Mexico, according to Deutche Press-Agentur.


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