I suppose various alternatives were considered and rejected for what is going on this week in Pandi, Bulacan: "massacre of hogs" - "mass execution" - "Death to the Pigs" - "a bonfire of bacon" but such gallows humor cannot disguise a growing sense of unease among the hairs of my neck as I watch the Philippine government dealing with an apparent outbreak of Ebola Reston Virus (ERV) infections among pigs, the first ever. Or ignore the fact that even pigs can make people cry. Before the slaughter, the pigs starved, but not to death. Everyone else I know is taking this all with an admirable equanimity, so I wish I had not paid so much attention and study of that thing that happened in Merrie Ole England not too long ago called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopahty. the bitter and difficult lessons from which have hopefully been taken notice of by our own authorities. Mad Cow disease ended up "depopulating" 4.5 million cows in Britain and Europe and became a global problem as the disease manifested in humans as Creutzfeld Jakob Disease. Here we had four hogs detected and reported on December 23, 2008. Now on March 3, 2009 they are "depopulating" 6000 hogs in Pandi, Bulacan after "increased mortality rates" were noticed in 2007 and 2008 in several Luzon provinces. The next cull may be far larger.
But whatever they do, they MUST NOT FEED the dead pigs to other pigs or any other beast. That is what drove Mad Cow Disease in the UK through a devastating positive feedback cycle. [the pun is not funny but deadly].