A mutant bird flu 90 times deadlier than Covid-19* is 'poised to emerge in humans' from factory farming, a new report has warned.
The report, titled Zoonoses: a ticking time bomb, was published by animal advocacy organization Viva! and led by senior health researcher Dr. Justine Butler.
It cites scientists who believe the new mutant strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus could prove 90 times more deadly than Covid-19, and would be capable of killing six-in-ten of those infected.
According to Viva!, zoonotic diseases - those which spread from animals to humans - are 'developing with increasing frequency', with three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases in people coming from animals.
A statement sent to Plant Based News said: "Scientists are concerned that the global explosion in factory farming and wildlife markets could make the transmission of mutated strains of the H5N1 bird flu virus to humans much easier.
"They include familiar illnesses and diseases such as the common cold, influenza (flu), polio, AIDS and measles alongside other lesser known ones such as SARS, MERS, Nipah virus and Ebola.
"Most recently, Covid-19 has joined this growing list, having jumped from bats or other wild animals, to humans, leading to the current pandemic.
There are over 200 zoonotic diseases and 56 of them affect some two-and-a-half billion people and cause nearly three million deaths every year."
'The writing is on the wall'
In Zoonoses: a ticking time bomb, Dr. Butler writes: "The majority of both zoonoses and antibiotic-resistant diseases are the result of human activity, with factory farming and wild animal markets lying at the heart of the problem. The solution could not be easier – go vegan now!"
Zoologist and Viva! director Juliet Gellatley added: "The writing is on the wall. The global explosion in factory farming and wildlife markets has left humankind exposed to catastrophic pandemics that could kill millions of people.
"For the sake of generations to come we must heed the science and end our collective dependency on the horrific abuse of animals."
For more information on zoonotic diseases visit viva.org.uk/3-in-4
*According to Viva!, the death rate of those infected by coronavirus is thought to be 0.66 percent. The death rate for those infected by a mutant H5N1 strain could be 60 percent. This equates to a H5N1 infection death rate 90.9 times higher.