Not so long ago we reported on a five legged sheep born at a farm centre in the UK. Today we report on a two headed pig born in China. The piglet appears to only have two ears and one working eye but it has two snouts.
The pig was born in the village of Jiujiang, in east China's Jiangxi province. Experts claim that the birth defect is not that uncommon in animals. The condition of having two heads is known as polycephaly.
China has a terrible recod of animal welfare. In fact it does not have a good record as far as human rights goes either. However the so-called two-headed pig will not go for slaughter. This may not be a kind option though. A local vet told media sources that the pg would find in difficult to survive. With a poor prognosis slaughter may have been a compassionate option.
Whther the pigs owners are keeping the pig for the right reasons is not known. Is tere money to be made out of a two-headed pig? I imagine there is at one of China's zoos. Sadly these establishments have a terrible record of animal abuse.
Poor little mite, either way.
Whilst the West continues to court China and appears to view that vast country as the next big thing, China is up to its old tricks. In the past suspect goods and food from China have swamped the market. They do not have the strict regulations that many Western countries have plus the Chinese seem good at making fakes and copies. The problem is that the quality is never the same. The ones in China who supply such goods damage trade but of course some of the damaging effects raise more serious concerns.
The latest fakes from China are electronic parts supplied to US Military aircraft.
The US Senate has released the findings of an investigation into alleged fake parts in Military aircraft. The investigation comprised an undercover operation. A fictitious company bought the fake parts from an Internet source. All the parts bought turned out to be fakes.
The investigation was partly undertaken to assess value for money from companies providing Military parts. The subsequent report reveals that "1,800 cases of bogus parts - including some in special operations helicopters and the US Air Force's largest cargo plane" was uncovered. However the actual number of counterfeit parts is more than one million.
The fakes compromise safety, standards and cost effectiveness of purchasing in the UK military. "This flood of counterfeit parts, overwhelmingly from China, threatens national security, the safety of our troops and American jobs," committee armed services publication chairman Senator Carl Levin said. "It underscores China's failure to police the blatant market in counterfeit parts - a failure China should rectify."
Before Western leaders happily court traders and manufacturers in China perhaps they should look a little closer. The cheapest option is not always the best. In addition the damage it does to homeland jobs and security makes it expensive in the long term.
We all like a bargain. That pair of jeans that cost much less than expected. That gadget which appears to have gone down in price. In reality sometimes they are not bargains. It could be that the stock is sub standard and actually dangerous to use.
The again it could have been made by people or even children working in dismal conditions for a pittance of a wage.
China has a bad track record as far as human rights go. It is no secret. We the West are still trying to court China as we see it as an ever growing economy. One that could have the wealth to cure some of the western ills. In Europe officials are now looking to China to ease debt. We all know the truth about China and how it treats its people, children, women and animals. We tend to turn a blind eye when it suits us financially to be friends with China. Sometimes that is hard to do.
The latest reports of abuse centre around people in China making Apple products. Some claims of abuse date back to 2010. At that time 13 workers at a factory run by Apple supplier Foxconn committed suicide. The workers jumped to their deaths from factory rooftops.
The company involved was accused of wrong doing as far as working conditions went.. It was alleged that they ran military style sweat shops forcing employees to work long hours for no extra pay. Wages were also set very low.
The company manufactures a range of products for other companies also including Sony, Nintendo, Hewlett-Packard and Amazon. There have been other allegations. One of the company's huge factories has 200,00 workers. Another factory suffered a fire killing four people. There are also reports of chemical injuries to workers. All in all not a good, safe or healthy working environment.
Tim Cook who is now CEO of Apple has called in the FLA, fair labour association, to inspect the factories. He has said the inspections will be on a never before seen scale. It is hoped that they are unannounced inspections also. Any firm can clean up its act for a visit without making long term changes. Cook told the media, "We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we've asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers."
His arm was probably forced by the consumer activism website change.org which had over 200,000 signatures on a petition regarding Apple workers rights. None of this has to date affected the profits Apple are making. If in time it does then you can bet that Apple become committed to change quick as a flash.
The response of the Taiwanese-owned company Foxconn? It has added safety nets to prevent further deaths from jumpers but has yet to improve working conditions and pay.