Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pig Cull in Egypt

Now there's YouTube videos of Egypt's pig cull.


It is really something to see squealing live pigs poured out of a bucket and dumped into a truck full of yet more squealing pigs. Here 's one video. Here's another.


I'm reminded of Youatt's book (1847):

Text not available
The Pig A Treatise on the Breeds, Management, Feeding, and Medical Treatment, of Swine

The incredible destruction of this pig cull is astounding.

Although the pigs are safe to eat, they are killing them too quickly for people to eat them, resulting in tremendous waste of pork.

There's a caste of people who survive by feeding their pigs garbage. Destroying the pigs means those people now have to do something else to earn a living - which may or may not be possible.

The pigs are part of Cairo's waste processing system. Destroying the pigs means more food for rodents and other vermin - so one can expect the pig cull to lead to more disease problems down the road.

Finally, they are killing off their local breed of pig. They've got a small, disease-resistant, parasite-resistant pig that does well in some of the worst conditions possible. These have to be some of the easiest keepers around. Should they need to repopulate, they won't easily find such pigs. The problem will be like that of repopulating Haiti's pigs.

I really feel for the fate of the pigs. All they want is to be left alone to sift through the garbage a few hours a day, breed and when necessary, rear their young. The pigs are so tough, they don't need the people. They just want to do their own thing. That's very different from the "poor doing" pigs that most farmers raise - they need high-quality feed and housing to keep them going.

I'm again reminded of Youatt:

Text not available
The Pig A Treatise on the Breeds, Management, Feeding, and Medical Treatment, of Swine...

3 comments:

JG said...

DO you know the reason for this cull?

That is just another in a endless stream of animal abuses. I wonder just how many millions of animals each year are treated in such horrible manners. People have no respect for the ultimate sacrifice the animals make for our sustenance and survival.

I am an avid carnivore and chef and proud proponent of humanely raised meats. This stuff is just sad..

I am often distressed at how little people see of this stuff. I will post this where I can.

Heath said...

It is an incredible waste. Those pigs won't even be eaten, despite the fact that they are perfectly acceptable.

I don't know the reason for the cull. The stated reasons that the Egyptian government has given don't make sense. First they said it was a public health isuse - but then they admitted it wasn't and said now that they want farmers to switch to modern intensive pig farms, located outside cities, with a simultaneous switch to modern garbage collection and processing.

If the stated purpose is to modernize the pork sector, why not do it more slowly, in a less destructive way? It needn't be done so quickly, at such a huge cost to the farmers.

rps said...

There's probably a religious aspect as well. Remember that Islam considers pigs unclean. The pigs are probably owned by the Coptic Christian minority, and the Muslims probably don't like that very much.