A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit by two major farm groups that sought to block the release of data on large livestock farms in Minnesota and Iowa.
Pork prices are going down. They had skyrocketed about a year and a half ago when a virus hit the hog population hard, killing millions nationwide. The Minnesota Pork Producers Association said farmers lost 7 percent to 8 percent of their herd.
Minnesota pork producers have had to adjust after a deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus killed seven million piglets. To ward off the disease, farmers have boosted the animals’ diets, resulting in hogs that weigh about 215 pounds.
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Farms stricken with a deadly pig virus must report outbreaks as part of a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of the disease, the federal government announced Friday. Porcine epidemic diarrhea has killed millions of pigs in 27 states since showing up in the U.S. last May, with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina being hit hardest. The disease has been blamed for recent increases in bacon and pork prices. Farmers have struggled to control the virus, because little is known about how it spreads and there is not yet a federally approved vaccine.
One of the country’s largest grocery companies is joining others who are pressuring pork suppliers to stop using restrictive gestation crates for their pigs. Supervalu says it will require reports from its suppliers on their progress in producing pork without the use of the individual stalls that are too narrow for a pregnant pig to turn around.
An illness that only affects pigs is making its way across the Midwest, including here in Minnesota. The Porcine Epidemic Virus (P.E.D.) killed more than 7,000 pigs at a facility near Good Thunder last December. Pork producers say newborn piglets are most susceptible, and it’s always fatal. The virus’ devastation cost the facility about $500,000.
A California-based animal rights group is calling on Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, to stop buying pork from a Minnesota producer. Mercy For Animals went undercover at a hog farm in Pipestone and recorded gruesome images they say proves their point.
Authorities say about 1,000 pigs died in a fire at an eastern Iowa hog containment operation.
Approximately 180 pigs have been killed in a Conger, Minn. barn fire Tuesday morning.
Target Corp. is the latest major food company to tell its pork suppliers to phase out the use of cramped stalls for confining pregnant sows.
A shortage down on the farm could lead to a price spike for a popular breakfast-time staple. This summer’s record drought has hurt many crops like corn. And pigs eat corn, making them more expensive to raise.
The Minnesota Department of Health has linked another case of a new swine flu strain to the Minnesota State Fair. According to MPR, a teenage boy developed a flu-like illness after he returned home, and later tested positive for a variant strain of H1N2. He had exhibited a pig at the fair.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, three people are believed to have developed a strain of influenza known as variant H1N2 (H1N2v) after exhibiting pigs or spending time in the swine barn at the Minnesota State Fair.
Vice President Joe Biden is defending the Obama administration’s efforts to reform Wall Street — and comparing Republican critics of the law to “squealing pigs.”