CAIRO - Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here, infuriating farmers who resisted the move and demanded compensation. The measure was a stark expression of the panic the outbreak is spreading around the world, especially in poor countries with weak public health systems. Egypt responded similarly in recent years to an outbreak of bird flu, which is endemic to the country and has killed two dozen people. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order. "We remind Hosni Mubarak that we are all Egyptians. Where does he want us to go?" said Gergis Faris, a 46-year-old pig farmer in another part of Cairo who collects garbage to feed his animals. "We are uneducated people, just living day by day and trying to make a living, and now if our pigs are taken from us without compensation, how are we supposed to live?" Most in the Muslim world consider pigs unclean animals and do not eat pork because of religious restrictions. They are banned entirely in some Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Libya. However in other parts of the Muslim world, pigs are often raised by religious minorities who can eat pork. In Jordan, the government decided Wednesday to shut down the country's five pig farms, involving 800 animals, for violating public health safety regulations. Half the pigs will be killed and the rest will be relocated to areas away from the population, officials said. Flu-fighting masks may help, but don't bet on it Toddler's death is first U.S. swine flu fatality Some travelers change plans due to swine flu Best swine flu strategy: Stay away, everyone Official: U.S. flu victims may be infecting others Some Mexican ill say doctors turned them away Bazell answers your swine flu questions Mexico flu may have begun earlier than thought Swine flu fears send sniffling patients to ERs Scientists developing faster test for swine flu Newsweek: Role of air travel in spreading the flu Swine flu has airports, airlines, agencies scrambling Early swine flu victim's wife not told of disease Discuss: How concerned are you? In Egypt, pigs are raised and consumed mainly by the Christian minority, which some estimates put at 10 percent of the population. Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shaheen estimated there are between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt. "It has been decided to immediately start slaughtering all the pigs in Egypt using the full capacity of the country's slaughterhouses," Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly told reporters after a Cabinet meeting with President Hosni Mubarak.