State advises fairs to limit swine shows due to virus threat

2014-02-13T00:00:00Z State advises fairs to limit swine shows due to virus threatBETSY BLOOM bbloom@lacrossetribune.com La Crosse Tribune
February 13, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Fair officials in La Crosse County are considering their options after the state issued warnings and new restrictions on showing swine this year to prevent the spread of a virus blamed for killing millions of pigs nationwide.

The state veterinarian Tuesday banned the spring weigh-ins for swine intended for 2014 competition and recommended fairs conduct only “terminal” shows in which the pigs go directly to slaughter afterwards.

“The understanding would be those animals would not be leaving the grounds to go back to the farm,” said Steve Huntzicker, agricultural agent for the La Crosse County UW Extension.

Both moves are intended to avoid pigs mingling and potentially passing along the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in swine. Wisconsin so far has only six confirmed cases of PEDv, but other states have been hit hard, with up to 4 million pigs lost since it surfaced in the U.S. in April 2013. It is especially lethal in piglets.

The state took the latest steps after the number of confirmed PEDv reports hit a new high last week. It has been found in 23 states so far, with neighboring Iowa accounting for nearly 40 percent of the cases.

While he knows of no PEDv reported in the county, Huntzicker said he understands the need for precautions to safeguard the pork and swine industry.

“It’s a devastating virus,” Huntzicker said.

He and others connected with the La Crosse Interstate Fair now must decide what type of swine show to have at this year’s event in mid-July. The fair annually draws 150 to 175 pigs, some of which are breeding stock rather than just market hogs.

Fairs and exhibitions that don’t restrict swine to terminal events could face possible state action if PEDv is suspected at the show, warned Paul McGraw, state veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. All pigs would be quarantined and, if the virus is confirmed, likely sold for slaughter.

The state’s announcement this week gives the county until April or May to see whether PEDv continues to spread before making the final call, Huntzicker said.

“People will need to be patient,” Huntzicker said, “as this gets worked out.”

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Search local business directory

Hint: Enter a keyword that you are looking for like tires, pizza or doctors or browse the full business directory.


Follow The La Crosse Tribune







Latest Local Offers

Today's Question

Loading…

Who do you support in the race for La Crosse County circuit judge?

View Results

Featured Businesses

AD BOARD

VIEW ADS  >

SEARCH ALL ADS
Sign Up for Our Email Lists

Breaking News, News Update and Sports Update Headlines. Delivered at 11a.m. daily.

Sign up for Events, Contests and Promotions

Business report, local Business news. Delivered once per month.

New employment opportunities in the region.

Local homes for sale.

Cars, Trucks, Vans, SUVs, Motorcycles, ATVs, Boats, RV's & more

JOB BOARD

VIEW ADS  >

JOBS SENT TO YOUR EMAIL
SEARCH ALL ADS

Homes