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Warning over H1N1 Risk in Big Pig Farms

by 5m Editor
28 September 2009, at 10:34am

NETHERLANDS - Supersized pig farms may be a source of H1N1 flu, four Dutch village doctors in Limburg province have said. Protests have been held against the planned building of large pig- and chicken-rearing facilities in their area.

As the worried doctors wrote in a letter to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, there is a bicycle lane crossing the area, which is used daily by children on their way to school.

According to Radio Netherlands, the doctors point out that the spread of the so-called Mexican flu virus is increased when great numbers of pigs and chickens are packed closely together. It is not clear which infection mechanism they are referring to, since AH1N1 does not originate in pigs. This even led the UN to reject the designation of "swine flu".

Local authorities have committed themselves to investigating the health risks of the building plans. "If there's any danger at all, the erection of these so-called mega stables will be stopped," a townhall spokesperson in the village of Horst said.