I would like to respond to a letter from George Fournier (“Coronavirus And CAFOs,” Press & Dakotan, Feb. 21). This is the first of two submissions.
COVID-19, a novel virus originating in China, appears to have developed as a chance combination of virus genetic pieces from a human, a bat and an unknown wild animal. Once created this new virus spreads PERSON to PERSON. Pigs have not been implicated as the source. It is devastating to China and scary to the world. Using it to spread misinformation about hog barns is dishonest.
Your comparison of a modern hog facility to the wet market in Wuhan, China, is ridiculous. A modern hog facility is a far cry from your vivid description. In order to be successful at producing quality, wholesome pork for food a producer strives for healthy, happy animals. It does a producer no good to mistreat the animals. The livestock spreads out in large pens with appropriate amounts of space, food and water for the growing pigs. Biosecurity limits transfer of human or other pig illnesses. It is not open to wild animals as you insinuate. The facilities are sanitary and regulated by the producers and by governmental regulations.
I would ask you to stop besmirching the reputations of local family farmers with your inaccurate representation of swine facilities. Hog facilities have nothing to do with COVID-19. Your inaccurate association, meant to spread fear, is shameful.