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PED Hits West Michigan, Kills Thousands of Piglets

11 April 2014

WEST MICHIGAN, US - Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) is reported to have spread and killed thousands of pigs in West Michigan.

According to Fox 43, while the PED virus leads to vomiting and diarrhoea in adult pigs, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it primarily kills baby pigs.

Growing up on her family’s farm, Erin Ehinger of Holland, has spent countless hours working with the animals. But, for the first year ever, she witnessed the devastating effects of PED after it claimed the life of thousands of baby pigs.

“It was amazing how fast they got sick and then we had another barn that had the same symptoms and they got really sick and dehydrated and within a couple of days the little babies started dying,” Ms Ehinger said.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, bacon prices have increased by more than 13 per cent. In a report issued by Rabobank, PED has impacted nearly 60 per cent of the breeding herd in the US.

Ms Ehinger said: “It has been awful on people because we are pig farmers and we love caring for our pigs and we do our best everyday to make sure they’re healthy and well cared for and just to come in and see sick pigs is really hard on people,”

The virus passes from pig to pig, or from the hands and clothing of humans. She said she is unsure how the virus entered the farm but that it’s also had a big impact on the family business.

“We raise pigs so that we can produce pork and when pigs die we can’t sell pigs for pork,” she continued. “It was a big deal we lost about three weeks of pigs.”

Fox 43 adds that, while the virus is fatal in pigs it can not be passed to humans and the meat is safe for consumption.

ThePigSite News Desk

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