SYDNEY – IT’S safer to kiss a pig than a lover, an Australian pig farmer insisted on Friday, as fears of an imminent global swine flu pandemic grew. ‘It is being passed on from human to human. You’d be safer kissing a pig than your partner,’ said Mr Ean Pollard, from the south-western town of Young. ’I went out and pashed (passionately kissed) a few pigs this morning,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
The World Health Organisation says the new type of influenza virus in Mexico cannot be transmitted through the consumption of pig meat despite its original name of ’swine flu,’ but Pollard said he had already noticed a considerable drop-off in demand for his pigs. ‘People have said ‘look, we don’t need the number that we had the week before’ and they’re wanting to push the price down,’ Pollard said.
All pork imported into Australia came from the United States, Canada or Denmark and arrived already processed or frozen and boneless, authorities have said in a bid to reassure meat eaters. The WHO said on its website on Thursday that it would begin referring to the swine flu virus as ‘influenza A (H1N1).’ — AFP
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