Factory farms of disease: how industrial chicken production is breeding the next pandemic

Factory farms of disease: how industrial chicken production is breeding the next pandemic

At least eight types of bird flu, all of which can kill humans, are circulating around the world’s factory farms – and they could be worse than Covid-19

One day last December, 101,000 chickens at a gigantic farm near the city of Astrakhan in southern Russia started to collapse and die. Tests by the state research centre showed that a relatively new strain of lethal avian flu known as H5N8 was circulating, and within days 900,000 birds at the Vladimirskaya plant were hurriedly slaughtered to prevent an epidemic.

Avian flu is the world’s other ongoing pandemic and H5N8 is just one strain that has torn through thousands of chicken, duck and turkey flocks across nearly 50 countries including Britain in recent years and shows no sign of stopping.

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