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.
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.
An animal protection organization is calling for changes in the way pregnant pigs are handled. Sleepy Eye’s Christensen Farms is one of the largest pork producers in the country, and it’s one of Wal-Mart’s biggest pork suppliers.