Chickens Recruited to Serve Their Country...To Make Vaccines

From all-creatures.org
Animal Rights Articles

Moo-ving people toward compassionate living

Visit our Home Page
Write us with your comments

Chickens Recruited to Serve Their Country...To Make Vaccines

By Sharon Seltzer

The mission for the chickens and roosters on the farms is to create enough fertilized eggs to “keep supplies of the swine-flu vaccine flowing.”

As the U.S. government and the CDC gear up for a possible third wave of the swine flu which may hit in early spring, tens of thousands of chickens are being stashed in secret facilities with one goal in mind - lay as many eggs as possible.

A story from The Wall Street Journal revealed that top secret egg farms have cropped up in several locations in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. They are so secret, most of the people living in the area have no idea they are there.

The mission for the chickens and roosters on the farms is to create enough fertilized eggs to “keep supplies of the swine-flu vaccine flowing.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that “the stark, windowless warehouses require electronic pin codes and hazmat-style jumpsuits to enter. A sign on a metal gate ominously warns that it is a Disease Control Area.”

Fertilized eggs have been the essential ingredient for making flu vaccines for the past 60 years. Not having enough of these eggs translates into a shortage of vaccines for the public.

With the fear of a pandemic sometime in the future, the U.S. government has gotten behind the production of fertilized eggs and helped to create the top secret egg farms. They are kept in protected facilities because of potential “terrorist attacks” or out of fear of being “struck by chicken-killing pathogens.”

“The government wanted a ‘secure system to protect these birds,’ with ‘very strict conditions for the entry and exit of people and product,” Robin Robinson of the Department of Health and Human Services told the WSJ. She is the creator behind the program.

Two different pharmaceutical companies, Sanofi-Aventis SA and GlaxoSmithKline PLC reported needing 600,000 to 800,000 eggs a day for their “global swine-flu-vaccine production.”

From the outside it appears the program is a win-win for the hens and roosters and the government. The animals are handled with care and given a special diet. They live in an “open-floor system” in a barn that allows them to roam around freely and where the temperature and humidity are constantly controlled.

However after closer inspection, the WSJ learned that after nine months of service to their country and to the world - the hens are euthanized. The pharmaceutical companies and the Department of Health and Human Services believe older chickens cannot lay “optimal eggs,” so sadly their lives are ended.