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Slaughter of the Innocent Pigs

Egypt prepares to "cull'' 400,000 pigs--most of them owned by Christians.

In misguided attempt to combat swine flu, Egypt's government has announced plans to destroy the mostly Muslim nation's 400,000 pigs–which are owned by members of the country's Christian minority. The action comes despite comments from the United Nations that the slaughter is "a real mistake." The disease cannot be caught from eating pork. Egypt's Christians, understandably, are bewildered.

The move to slaughter the pigs, kept mainly by the country's Christian minority, sparked an angry response from farmers, who said reported government pledges of compensation of $105 per animal were inadequate.

Clashes were reported in Khanka, 25km north of Cairo, with pig farmers setting up road blocks and smashing the windscreens of veterinary services' vehicles as they sought to take people's pigs away.

"Our pigs are healthy. They are our capital and they have no diseases," Adel Ishak, a rubbish collector from Manshiet Nasser, northeast of Cairo, told the AFP news agency.

"How will they replace the capital if these pigs are killed?"

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