Swine health research benefited by Smithfield gift

Hog operations will benefit from a $1.4 million gift from Smithfield Foods Inc. that will support antibiotic alternatives studies in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine that will investigate methods to enhance animal well-being and production efficiency.

The gift, to be doled out over a three-year period, will fund three projects designed to improve health, reduce antibiotic use and find alternative production methods for growing pigs.

The three studies will …

  • Target strategic intervention for swine influenza virus. Swine flu is easily spread and often leads to secondary infections that are costly to treat.
  • Explore the use of recombinant universal vaccines against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome.
  • Seek to determine the viability of developing a recombinant vaccine to control boar taint, an offensive taste or odor that can affect pork made from male pigs.

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