Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Utah issues emergency order for swine shows

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News

Published: Tue, April 29 5:20 p.m. MDT

 A pig gets a drink of water at Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Hoping to stop the spread of a deadly virus to Utah's swine population, the state veterinarian's office issued an emergency order Tuesday declaring that swine must be slaughtered if they are shown at livestock events or fairs.

A pig gets a drink of water at Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Hoping to stop the spread of a deadly virus to Utah's swine population, the state veterinarian's office issued an emergency order Tuesday declaring that swine must be slaughtered if they are shown at livestock events or fairs.

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — If Wilbur the pig goes to a livestock show or county fair in Utah, his bacon is cooked.

An emergency order issued Tuesday by the state veterinarian's office warns that any pig shown at Utah fairs or livestock shows must then be taken directly to slaughter to prevent the spread of a deadly swine virus.

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PED, is not a threat to humans or other animals, but it has killed as many as 7 million pigs in the United States since last year.

"It is unfortunate that the students and youth who show these animals and often take them to different shows will not be able to do that," said Larry Lewis, spokesman with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. "But we want to take every prudent precaution to guard all the large and small hog operators in the state."

First diagnosed in Ohio, PED has since spread to 30 states but so far has not reached Utah. There is no known cure.

“PEDv is highly contagious, and therefore aggressive steps must be taken to protect Utah’s $200 million pork industry,” said assistant state veterinarian Warren Hess. “I also want our 4-H kids to be able to show their animals, however this order requires that they not take their animals back home.”

The order requires fairs and livestock shows to be "terminal" — that is the last stop for the pig. Students and others who intend to enter the swine for judging will not be allowed to bring the animals back to the farm.

While the order becomes effective May 5 to give people a chance to prepare, the state veterinarian's office is urging that any show held before then be given the same status. The emergency order also requires all hogs and pigs entering Utah to be first inspected by a veterinarian promising the animals have not been exposed to the virus in the past 30 days.

“This order does not cancel any livestock show. It does put into place prudent measures intended to keep Utah one of a minority of states that is free of the PED virus," Hess said. "Utah only recently relaxed its ban on 'terminal' swine shows, but because of the resurgence of PEDv in more than 30 states, including four of the five states boarding Utah (Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona), it has become necessary to reinstate these protections."

The agency invoked the emergency order following the announced requirement by the USDA that any case of PEDv and Swine Delta Coronavirus be reported nationally. In addition, the USDA is requiring the tracking of movements of pigs, vehicles and other equipment leaving affected premises.

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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1. higv
Dietrich, ID,
April 29, 2014

I have a neighbor who had a calf with a flu go up to his brain three years ago. He is slurred of speech and has trouble with motor skills. Still mentally alert and has good attitude. But has hard time getting around. A rare virus that went to brain instead of lungs. Animals for the most part are safe and vaccinated. But there are hidden things there from time to time. For the Pigs nice if there were 4h and ffa kids who could use them for breeding projects and sale them as such. I am sure there are people that will donate for ffa judging contests as well.

2. K
Mchenry, IL,
April 29, 2014

Why not just cancel instead of slaughter after the show? Give the pig all their days on earth.

3. U-tar
Woodland Hills, UT,
April 29, 2014

Oink :(

4. nmjim
SANDIA PARK, NM,
April 30, 2014

You should never name a pig Fluffy anyway.

5. one old man
Ogden, UT,
April 30, 2014

Do factory farms with extremely high density pig populations have anything to do with spread of this disease?