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Pig virus confirmed in Utah could mean bringing home less bacon

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Posted at 2:14 PM, Sep 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-03 16:14:13-04

BEAVER COUNTY, Utah – Pork and bacon fans, there is bad news for pig farmers in Utah.

The USDA’s National Veterinary Service Laboratory has confirmed Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) at one hog farm in Beaver County, Utah.

Officials said the farm in question is Utah’s largest hog farm and one of the biggest in the country.

According to the USDA, the virus is serious for young swine with a high death rate for piglets.

Authorities said the illness is not a threat to humans or other animal species.

Facts from USDA on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus:

  • PEDV is a pig farming virus only affecting pigs. It poses no risk to other animals, humans or food safety.  Pork remains safe to eat.
  • Currently there is a conditional license for a PEDv vaccine available to pork producers.
  • PEDV is not a new virus; it has been found in countries worldwide.
  • The USDA said the disease is common in parts of Asia and Europe, and was first reported in the U.S. 16 months ago.

Since then, more than 5,500 cases have been reported in as many as 30 states including Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona.

Acting State Veterinarian, Dr. Warren Hess told the USDA he is advising Utah hog and pig producers to, “Remain vigilant regarding their animal bio-security practices on their farms.”

In May, the UDAF issued an emergency order intended to protect Utah’s $200 million swine industry by placing restrictions on livestock shows with hogs and pigs.

Officials said the order required any fair or show to be a “terminal” show, which means the swine would go directly to slaughter after the show and therefore reduce the threat of spreading any disease.

The order also applies to the Utah State Fair Sept. 4 to Sept. 14 in Salt Lake City.

The USDA said it is working with UDAF veterinarians to test swine on the farm diagnosed with PEDv and to assure “stringent animal bio-security practices” are in place.

MORE: Click here for more info from the USDA