It never fails. Crowd animals on top of each other over their own feces, feed them growth chemicals like antibiotics and ractopamine and disease breaks out.
Big Meat is hoping we have forgotten about Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) which, by May 2013, had killed one tenth of all U.S. pigs. Despite photos that show mountains of dead pigs, Big Meat doesn't want to scare pork eaters into thinking a virus that could kill that many pigs so quickly could sicken or kill them.
Nor does it want food consumers to start questioning the way U.S. pork is created to allow such a disease to spread.
By 2014, PEDv had killed at least 7 million piglets in their first days of life. The scourge was so bad the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) caught a Kentucky farm that lost 900 piglets within a two-day period feeding dead pigs to other pigs in an attempt to induce "immunity" in survivors. Nice. Footage from the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, Kentucky shows pigs whose legs had bound together to keep them standing when they otherwise would have collapsed.
How are the piglets with PEDv "euthanized"? By "manually applied blunt force trauma to the head" also known as bashing their heads against wall, admits the American Veterinary Medical Association. They are also gassed.
Pork groups defend "indoor facility" factory farming, saying it allows "security protocols [that] lead to healthier pigs and a safer food supply," but HSUS puts the blame for PEDv on cramped conditions.
Killing Millions; Costing Millions
Flash forward to the current avian flu epidemic in which millions of chickens and turkeys are being killed, mostly by asphyxiation, to keep the disease from spreading. "U.S. Bird Flu Scourge Means Months of Dead Turkey Cleanup," says the agweb web site, showing a HazMat worker and lamenting the financial losses.