Infectious disease outbreaks are major threats to global animal health and welfare, and effective management of and control is necessary for global agronomic and food security. Zoonotic diseases are transmissible between humans to animals, and between animals, and can be transmitted either directly or indirectly. Recent examples include the suspected animal-born Ebola virus outbreak in 2014 and the Swine Flu H1N1 outbreak in 2009. Other endemic infectious diseases in humans and animals include Foot and Mouth disease, Lumpy Skin Disease, Anthrax, Newcastle Disease, and Peste de Petits Ruminants.
Meat production, especially at scale, increases epidemic risks for human populations both directly through increased contact with wild and farmed animals, and indirectly through its impact on the environment.
Attempts to limit the spread and severity of infectious disease outbreaks in animals rely on mass cullings of infected and at-risk farms. In the COVID-19 pandemic, Denmark culled approximately 17 million mink in efforts to protect against the spread of the virus through their farms and to the human populace. However, culling is accompanied by a host of ethical and economic concerns, including animal cruelty and financial loss to both farmers and the country.
Major endemic outbreaks related to pigs include H1N1, or the Swine Flu, and the Nipah Virus, both of which require infected animals to be culled immediately. Global deaths for humans who contracted H1N1 range between 100,000 and 600,000, and over a million pigs have been killed since the discovery of Nipah Virus for their ability to spread the virus to people, where the case fatality rate was recorded between 40-70%.
How many pigs will be culled because of an infectious disease outbreak, in the largest such occurrence, between 2021 and 2023?
This question will resolve as the maximum number of pigs, hogs, or swine reported to have been culled, within a period of three months, due to a single infectious disease outbreak between January 1, 2021 and January 1, 2023.
The number will be generated by summing over all the reported numbers of pigs, hogs and swine that are culled within a three-month period, in production facilities worldwide, as a response to the outbreak of a single infectious disease.
The pigs, hogs, or swine must be culled for the purpose of the purpose of preventing the spread or reducing the risk of an infectious disease.
The resolution will be obtained from at least two reputable sources including news, scientific, or government platforms.