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Banning pig farming sure option for controlling Swine Flu
The Hadith clearly demonstrates: First, pigs will one day become a big menace for the mankind. Second, killing pigs is an open option. Third, it will be Jesus after his Second Advent who will ultimately order the killing of all pigs
Wednesday February 18, 2015 12:08 PM, Dr. Javed Jamil

Swine Flu has attained menacing proportions in the country. The disease has been spreading in the country for last several years. This winter season, 8000 cases have already been detected in the country with hundreds of deaths. About 2000 cases have been detected in Delhi alone.

Swine Flu

Swine Flu has proved to be a devastating killer in the last century with several epidemics. Also called pig flu, this is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. Swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) is a strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. The known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H2N1, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.

Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human flu, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human flu, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection. But there have been several outbreaks during last one hundred years that have resulted in massive casualties. Even when the strains have disappeared in humans, the retention of influenza strains in pigs might make pigs a reservoir where influenza viruses could persist, later emerging to re-infect humans once human immunity to these strains has waned.

About 203,000 people around the world died of flu and respiratory problems during the 2009 H1N1 "swine flu" pandemic, according to a new study funded by the World Health Organization. Deaths from heart failure and other secondary consequences of the flu pushed the overall toll to about 400,000, according to the study, published online by PLoS Medicine7.

Other epidemics in the past have also killed big numbers. During the 1918 pandemic, approximately 20% to 40% of the worldwide population became ill and an estimated 50 million people died. Nearly 675,000 people died in the United States alone. Many influenza–and pneumonia–related deaths occurred in September 1957 and March 1958. Although the 1957 pandemic was not as devastating as the 1918 pandemic, about 69,800 people in the United States died. The elderly had the highest rates of death. The number of deaths between September 1968 and March 1969 was 33,800, making it the mildest flu pandemic in the 20th century. It was mainly active in Hong Kong.

The rise in the disease is directly related to pig farming, which of course depends on the pork eating habits of the population in a country. It is a multi-billion global industry with China, United States, Brazil and European countries being the largest cultivators of pigs. Today, pig farms are much larger than in the past, with most large-scale farms housing 5,000 or more pigs in climate-controlled buildings. With 100 million pigs slaughtered each year, these efficiencies deliver affordable meat for consumers and larger profits for producers. Pig farming has recently become an attractive business for people in India too.

According to a website:
"A few years back, pig farming had a bad image in the society (only socially back warded down-trodden class Indian people used to raise pigs since the time immemorial and they were not respectable people). But at present the scenario has changed tremendously and commercial pig farming in India is no more restricted to lower class people. Now people are conscious about the economic value of pigs like other domestic livestock animals. And higher caste, educated people also started commercial pig farming business in a modern and scientific manner. China, Russia, America, Brazil and West Germany are the world largest pig producing country. In India Uttar Pradesh is the largest pig producing state."

Muslim countries have of course been almost free of Swine Flu. Qur'an banned Pork eating, and it is therefore unimaginable to think of Pig Farming in Muslim countries. In my latest book, "Dynamic Paradigm of Health", the first volume of "Qur'anic Paradigm of Sciences & Society", I have discussed the issue in some details. The diseases related to pork are well known. There are two major infestations related to the consumption of pork. These are Taeniasis, caused by Taenia solium and Trichenellasis, caused by Trichinella spiralis. Both of these were quite common till about half a century back. They can cause paralysing illnesses, including blindness and hemiplegia, and can sometimes even cause death. To avoid these diseases, extraordinary care has to be taken in cooking and storing. There are other diseases that are related indirectly to pork, some of which can prove fatal. The best known is Swine Flu, which is related to pork eating because it spreads in those who are in contact with pigs on account of the business of pork.

A time may come when the devastation caused by pigs may necessitate killing of all the pigs. Interestingly, such an option is also indicated in Hadith literature. Abu Hurayra, RA, narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) said, 'By him in whose hand my soul is, surely the Son of Mary will come down among you as a just ruler. He will break the cross, kill the pigs and abolish the Jizyah. Wealth will be in such abundance that no one will care about it, and a single prostration in prayer will be better than the world and all that is in it.' (An-Nisaa 4:159) (Bukhari; Muslim).

The Hadith clearly demonstrates that: First, pigs will one day become a big menace for the mankind. Second, killing pigs is an open option. Third, it will be Jesus after his Second Advent who will ultimately order the killing of all pigs.

When birds can be culled in a big way to stop Bird flu, why pigs cannot be killed to stop Swine flu? Killing pigs will of course not be acceptable to the market. But if the disease continues to become a menace, a ban on pig farming should surely be considered as an option.

And of course, there is an urgent need to make the masses aware about the seriousness of illnesses associated with pork and pig farming. This is the type of disease, which can become epidemic within no time, and can consume millions of lives. In a country like India, anti-viral drugs can bring succour to only a small percentage if the disease spreads fast. It has already given a wake-up call to the health experts and policy makers.

[Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, "Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society" (First Vol: Health), "Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough" and "Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map". Other works include "The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism", "The Essence of the Divine Verses", "The Killer Sex", "Islam means Peace" and "Rediscovering the Universe". He can be contacted at doctorforu123@yahoo.com or 91-8130340339. For his shayri visit Urdu Shayari, Dr Javed Jamil :: Bihar Urdu Youth Forum, Patna]




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