Cairo: Egypt has started slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here,
infuriating farmers who blocked streets and stoned vehicles of Health Ministry workers who came to carry out the government’s order.
The measure is a stark expression of the panic the deadly outbreak is spreading around the world, especially in poor countries with weak public health systems. Egypt responded similarly a few years ago to an outbreak of bird flu.
At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, scores of angry farmers blocked the street to prevent Health Ministry workers in trucks and bulldozers from coming in to slaughter the animals. Some pelted the vehicles with rocks and the workers left without killing any pigs.