Animal Agriculture Alliance officials are extremely dismayed, but not surprised, to learn that a number of groups have attempted to use the recent outbreak of Type 2 H1N1 influenza to advance their anti-modern agriculture and animal rights' agendas.

Particular criticism has been directed at modern livestock systems, despite the disease not yet having been found in an animal.

The vast majority of America's farm animals are kept in barns and similar housing to protect their health and welfare. Modern housing protects animals from predators, disease, bad weather and extreme climates. Today's buildings also are well-ventilated, well-lit, clean and scientifically designed to meet an animal's specific needs — including temperature, light, water and food, point out Alliance officials.

Modern housing is designed to allow the farmer to provide the best animal care possible. Today's designs drastically reduce introduction of disease vectors and are easy to clean, reducing opportunities for diseases to spread.

"Because modern livestock facilities are designed to meet animals' specific needs, these facilities are better for controlling and reducing diseases than allowing animals to have uncontrolled interactions with wild animals and other potential disease vectors," says Kay Johnson Smith, executive vice president for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. "Attempting to connect modern farming and ranching to the current flu outbreak is a huge stretch and is completely irresponsible."

Source: Animal Agriculture Alliance