According to reports, Cargill, one of the USA’s largest poultry producer’s has recalled over 16,000 tonnes of turkey. The source has not been pinpointed, however, leftover turkey containing the same strain was found in the home of the one man known to have died from the illness.
Salmonella is carried in some poultry and their eggs and can be transferred from animals to humans. Intensive systems effectively act as incubators for infections , and act as a significant reservoir of disease that can spread between animals and humans both in the UK and around the world. The fact that serious human infections and deaths are being caused by farm-animal strains shows how urgently we need to address the factory farming system.
Hostile conditions are found in factory farming where animals are kept in close proximity and given regular inclusion of antibiotics in their feed and water. Intensive animal farming relies on a greater use of antibiotics to treat stressed, disease-prone animals.
Resistance to antibiotics is a well-known consequence of such misuse and it has been reported that antibiotic resistant bacteria of the strain of salmonella thought to be involved have been isolated in 26 US states. There must be something awry in today’s farming systems if animals have to indiscriminately be treated with antibiotics on a regular basis. Not only can this undermine the animals’ immune systems, but it can lead to the dangerous multiplication of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in both humans and animals.
Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, says: “This salmonella outbreak is another potential example of how harmful factory farming is for animals and people. Factory farms where animals such as turkeys are unnaturally crowded and stressed, and even with careful management are always likely to need drugs to keep infections at bay. We should eat less, but better meat - coming from animals that have lived a happy and healthy life”.