Cultural and Economic Motivation of Pig Raising Practices in Bangladesh

Nazmun Nahar, Main Uddin, Emily S. Gurley, M. Jahangir Hossain, Rebeca Sultana, Stephen P. Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The interactions that pig raisers in Bangladesh have with their pigs could increase the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. Since raising pigs is a cultural taboo to Muslims, we aimed at understanding the motivation for raising pigs and resulting practices that could pose the risk of transmitting disease from pigs to humans in Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim country. These understandings could help identify acceptable strategies to reduce the risk of disease transmission from pigs to people. To achieve this objective, we conducted 34 in-depth interviews among pig herders and backyard pig raisers in eight districts of Bangladesh. Informants explained that pig raising is an old tradition, embedded in cultural and religious beliefs and practices, the primary livelihood of pig herders, and a supplemental income of backyard pig raisers. To secure additional income, pig raisers sell feces, liver, bile, and other pig parts often used as traditional medicine. Pig raisers have limited economic ability to change the current practices that may put them at risk of exposure to diseases from their pigs. An intervention that improves their financial situation and reduces the risk of zoonotic disease may be of interest to pig raisers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-620
Number of pages10
JournalEcoHealth
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • culture
  • economy
  • intervention
  • pig raising
  • zoonoses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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