New from GRAIN | 1 April 2020
New research suggests industrial livestock, not wet markets, might be origin of Covid-19
There is a growing body of evidence that the origin of the current Covid-19 pandemic is not a wet market in Wuhan, as has been widely claimed. We now know that tests of the animals at the market came back negative and that the first reported case and many other initial cases had no connection to this market. We also now know, thanks to a newly released analysis of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the Covid-19 disease, that it is most likely that the virus evolved to its lethal form in an animal host, which likely received a less deadly version of the disease from bats. For such an evolution to take place, the animals would have to have been in a high-population density, such as an industrial farm, and they would have to have certain genetic similarities to humans, which would enable the virus to jump to humans. Pangolins, a wild animal that is intensively farmed in China, meets this criteria and much attention has focussed on pangolins as the possible source of the disease. Pigs also meet this criteria but they have received far less attention, even though the area around Wuhan is a centre of factory pig farms, still struggling to cope with a massive die-off from another lethal virus over the past year. This possible connection between Covid-19 and industrial animal farming must be urgently investigated.
GRAIN and other organisations and scientists have been raising the alarm for over a decade now about how the industrialisation and corporate consolidation of meat production has generated increased risks for the emergence of global pandemics such as Covid-19. But this reality has been completely ignored by governments and the big meat companies they are beholden to. With the growing carnage from Covid-19, a radical change in direction is more urgent than ever.
Read the full article at: https://grain.org/e/6437
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