Nieuws - 14 april 2010

The S-infection

I've had it up to here, bit by bit. With The Mexican Fever, bird flu, swine flu, H5N1 and most recently, the Q-Fever, or the 'Query Fever', in other words.

New threats to our health keep coming up. Moreover, these often entail the slaughter of large numbers of animals. To let live or to let die. Determined by a green or a red cross on their fleece. The death sentence meted out without pardon, without questioning, even without being sick. This is sickly and sorry, a feeling shared by many people around me. The S-infection has taken hold.  It's clear that something has to be done. The Q-Fever is a nasty one. The number of infected cases increases, and the bacteria has even claimed lives. But, is unscrupulous extermination the solution? How much are the lives of animals worth to humans? Where lies the borderline to protect our health?
There is a vaccine against this disease. But the start of the lambing season is in sight, while research still needs to be done on the vaccine's effectiveness and safety. A recommendation is not expected before June. The lambs would have been born by then, and the biggest danger as well. Are we heading down the same path of the Mexican Fever? Will we have a surplus of vaccines when the biggest risk is behind us?
One can think of better solutions. Less intensive livestock farming, for example. Rearing animals above one another is giving rise to more problems. It's about time that this gets through to the politicians so that they can take the bull by the horns. Alright, the price of meat may go up. Quit complaining, I would say. The animals are certainly worth that much. And their lives could be made a bit better before they end up on our plates.
It's about time that the S-infection gets into the House of Representatives too. That they would feel sorry for the animals. Let their eyes be filled with tears and their noses be full of phlegm. Agony-free meat is what I want. Let the new disease approach. We don't need a vaccine against it.