It’s flu season, and as The New York Times reports today, President Obama has declared the H1N1 flu outbreak a national emergency while supplies of H1N1 flu vaccines are lagging. People have even been camping out in front of doctors’ offices to get the in-demand injections. So what would happen if this shortage faced additional pressures — from animal rights groups? The possibility isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.
Scientists produce vaccines for the flu by using chicken eggs. It takes 3 eggs to make a single dose of flu vaccine. So with over 307 million people in the US, somewhere in the neighborhood of 920 million eggs would be required to make a vaccine for every American man, woman, and child. Why is this important? Because as we’re telling readers of the Cleveland Plain Dealer today, animal rights activists like those who run the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are pushing efforts like across the U.S. (like California’s Proposition 2 last year) that threaten domestic egg production and our ability to respond to vaccine demand:

Complying with Proposition 2 is already proving prohibitively costly for Californian egg producers. And businesses are learning that this alleged "progress" for animal welfare has opened a Pandora’s box of activist-driven problems …
Once egg farmers tire of being hassled by chicken advocates, they can (and will) simply move abroad, mostly to Mexico, taking jobs (and eggs) with them. And as more U.S. producers relocate south of the border, our response to a future pandemic could hinge on the quality — and affordability — of a billion hastily imported huevos.
It’s clearly reckless to allow our national food policies to be written by animal activists who see chickens (and their eggs) as legal persons. Giving those same radicals the power to put public health at risk makes even less sense.

For more about HSUS’s latest campaign to force American egg farmers out of business, read up on Issue 2 in Ohio.