Agriculture
1:11 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Oklahoma Loses Eight Percent Of Swine Inventory To Virus

Oklahoma has lost about 8 percent of its swineinventory due to a virus sweeping across the country, and the executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council says the loss has driven consumer prices higher.

Roy Lee Lindsey tells The Journal Record that prices are going to rise another 10 to 12 percent throughout the summer. Low supplies have already driven domestic prices 40 percent higher in recent months and current exports are up 10 percent compared with a year ago.

“The toll is tremendous in the loss of pigs, but it’s bigger than that,” Lindsey said. “When you consider the people who work on these farms, everything they’re taught from the first day is that they have to take care of their pigs.

“And to go from loading healthy, happy pigs on the truck to carrying out dead pigs has a tremendous emotional impact that’s hard to quantify,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on June 5 ordered producers, veterinarians and diagnostic labs to report positive occurrences of the virus porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED.

State Department of Agriculture veterinarian says the virus is a species-specific infection and can't be passed on to humans.

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