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I know it's an odd phrase, but let's observe. A large majority of people are afraid that avian influenza (Bird Flu) will develop the gene that enables it to spread from human to human and become the next pandemic. A lot of diseases begin in animals, I know that HIV and SARS started in animals, plus there's Monkey Pox, West Nile, Mad Cow, etc. Here's how I picture it, say in this third world country, the government sends someone to a farm to inspect the chickens. They then say, "Hey, we have to kill this many of your chickens to prevent an outbreak." So they slaughter the chickens and move on to the next poor farm. Offering no compensation for their killings. Third world farmers probably care most about having enough money for food, to support their families, etc. So the best thing they can do in this situation is tell other farmers they know "Hey hide your sick chickens!" So, could government compensation possibly help? Please tell me what you'd do if you had governmental power.


Rutroh said...

I see where you are going with this... by offering compensation more farmers would allow true regulation of their animals to be sure anything with the bird flu would be slaughtered before it can pass it along. The problem is ONE case would require a total quarentine of that farm... nothing comes or goes including wild birds to the fecal matter for over 2 weeks ... So adequate compensation would need to be provided for cooperation
Here in the US it might work but there needs to be a larger scale campaign for it to work with many /all countries participating and only in that kind of scenario could I/would I think about it if I was in power.... I would definitely seek the advise of many acedemics on this issue... Something I dont think politicians do often enough.

Boo said...

Although I understand your question is a rhetorical one, our government does not have the authority, even if it wanted, to interfere with 3rd world countries handling of their consumer affairs. Here's just a few reasons, though I'm sure there are many, many more.
1. We don't buy our meat from 3rd world countries. If we did, it would be subjected to the same FDA inspections as meat from our own country. The meat we purchase from other nations has to be inspected and passed by our FDA before it's allowed to go through. A failable process for sure, but it's what we have.
2. If farmers in this country have to slaughter animals because of an outbreak or suspected outbreak, they are already compensated for it. At least those who sell meats to manufacturers. Small-scale farmers may or may not have insurance.
3. Food safety regulations, or the lack thereof, is up to each country. We cannot regulate it or compensate those farmers for any losses they may have.

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