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Pork prices could rise due to deadly pig virus

Mgn Online
Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 4:40pm

A virus that kills pigs has spread to the United States for the first time.

The virus is not a threat to humans, but pork prices in the U.S. could be affected as 11 states have reported cases of the virus.

States affected are Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

In Iowa, one of the states where the virus has struck, farmers are doing all they can to prevent spreading the virus.

Leon Sheets has been raising pigs for 33 years and he just wants to keep his animals healthy.

"We have health challenges, it's not good for anybody." said Sheets.

The disease is known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and it's fatal to hogs that catch it under two weeks old.

Sheets and his staff have started wearing special clothes and showering before working with the animals.

"Anything that we c an do to prevent that getting in and affecting my farm, my pork population, that's the key thing we're gonna do," said Sheets.

At this time the virus has not hit Sheets' herd yet. But if it did, he may lose nearly 3,000 animals.

That's two months of income.

And if that leads to a shortage, pork prices could rise as welll. That's why Sheets is not not taking any chances.

"We're going to keep our animals healthy and we don't like these things affecting our production."

As of mid June, Iowa has reported about 112 cases.

While the virus is nearly 100 percent fatal in piglets less than two weeks old, many adult pigs that are infected will survive.

Meat from infected animals is still safe to eat.

At this time the USDA is monitoring the virus, and will issue recommendations as necessary.

We're going to keep our animals healthy and we don't like these thing affecting our production.
 

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