Greenpeace statement on the bird flu outbreak

Press release - August 17, 2017
Quezon City, Philippines – In light of the recent avian flu outbreak, Greenpeace today recommended longer-term measures to address the spread of pathogens, which it says is indicative of a failing industrial food production system.

Leonora Lava, Food & Ecological Agriculture Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, said:

“While Greenpeace commends the government and industry efforts to contain the outbreak, we still see these as temporary measures, which will not address the issue head-on. In reality, there are no ‘confined operations’ in relation to public health.  In the case of avian flu, the pathogens are still freely moving from the ‘confined’ flocks to the external environment, and vice-versa.

 "The high concentration and close confinement of fowls in an industrial setting is almost like incubators for avian flu, which allows the breeding and spread of such diseases. In industrial livestock production, only one breed of fowl is raised. When a certain disease attacks, the fowls are all wiped out. The scene is different in backyard raising, where different breeds of fowls are raised, allowing resiliency in the system.

"The recent avian flu outbreak, where we have to slaughter hundreds of thousands of chickens to temporarily contain the pathogen for fear of spreading to humans, is a clear manifestation of the failure of the industrial food production system.

"It is now high time for the government and us, citizens, to examine our food system. There is an urgent need to shift the model of our agriculture towards less concentrated, decentralized, more diversified and more small-holder farmer-centric ecological farming.

"We need decentralized mechanisms, such as a National, as well as Local, Food Councils, where ordinary Filipinos can participate in decision-making towards crafting and implementing a sustainable food plan.”

 

Media contacts

Leonora Lava, Food & Ecological Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines; ; +639985624005

JP Agcaoili, Communications Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines; ; +639498891334