The outbreaks of swine-flu variant have prompted Egypt to start slaughtering all of the country’s pigs, even though it’s humans, and not the animals, that spread the disease.
The United Nations said the mass cull of up to 400,000 pigs was “a real mistake” as they have shown no sign of carrying the new virus strain.
One farmer said: “We didn’t want them taking our pigs. So they arrested and beat us. They took the pigs by force and took us to the police station.”
Egypt has already been hit hard by bird flu, and officials say the pig slaughter is being undertaken as a precaution. The army has been called in to help with the cull, which state media reported could last up to a month.
Egypt’s agriculture minister said the meat would be frozen and offered for sale to consumers.