“The poultry industry in Mexico grows amid overcrowding and rats” is the title of an unfortunate article in the “Science and Health” section published last week by Milenio, a well-known Mexican media outlet.

It seems to me illogical to take advantage of the current COVID-19 situation to create panic, saying that bacteria and viruses − without specifying which ones − affecting hens, mutate and can be a risk to public health. Zoonoses have always existed, with or without hens.

The article mentions 900 dead hens! when Mexico has 165 million birds in production, that is, merely 0.0005%. This figure, far from being scary, is irrelevant and I think it is cowardly to mention Empresas Guadalupe, the third egg-producing company in Mexico and Latin America, when the “researcher” appears covered with hood, a darkened face and with the distorted voice, and entered the poultry facilities for another purpose.

The report includes “unpublished images” (I think they had never seen a dead hen), pecked birds with organs exposed, serious risks to public health and animal cruelty. The cat is out of the bag here! The information comes from an animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, not from an objective point of view on food production.

The other cat out of the bag is that they are pushing for the implementation of the Mexican Official Standard (NOM) that promotes cage-free egg production. Activists, allow me to tell you that cage-free hens also die and rot, and other hens peck on them and take the tripes out (Gee! as if there was no cannibalism among cage-free birds). Not to mention the exposure to “viruses and bacteria” in a free environment. This is not exclusive to caged hens.

Another absurdity is to talk about the piles of manure, as if it were unusual, adding the “worm infested” description. Note to activists: Hens in cages or those roaming free-range produce manure, and yes, in large quantities.

Finally, in addition to being disturbed by the tone of the “unpublished” things of this report, to use natural processes to scare people who are totally urban and ignorant of the countryside particularities, I am also disturbed by the generalizations that “all” the Mexican poultry industry grows amid rats and overcrowding. It is impossible for a poultry industry, the size of the Mexican one which is an important food producer, to thrive as such.

What do you think?