EGYPT considers mass pigs cull over swine flu fears
Posted: April 29th, 2009 - 2:35pm
CAIRO -- Egypt, hard hit by the highly pathogenic bird flu virus, is considering culling hundreds of thousands of pigs as a precautionary measure as swine flu nears the borders of the most populous Arab country.
The move is not expected to block the H1N1 virus from striking, as the illness is spread by people and not present in Egyptian swine. But acting against pigs, largely viewed as unclean in conservative Muslim Egypt, could help quell a panic.
Pigs are mainly raised by Egypt's Christian minority.
Experts fear any flu pandemic could spread quickly in Egypt and have a devastating impact in a country where most of the roughly 80 million people live in the densely packed Nile Valley, many concentrated in crowded slums in and around Cairo.