Wisconsin’s state veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has reissued a ban on the spring pig weigh-ins that usually take place in preparation for Wisconsin’s numerous county fairs.
Paul McGraw took this action, as well as recommending that only terminal swine shows be held, given the concerns regarding the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome and influenza.
“The precautions we took last year helped keep our infection rates down in Wisconsin, so I want to make sure that continues,” McGraw says. For example, Wisconsin has had seven known positive cases of PEDV since the virus was first found in the U.S. pig population in 2013. Only two cases have been reported since the mandatory reporting requirement went into effect in June 2014. Meanwhile, industry analysts estimate more than eight million swine nationwide have died from PEDV alone in the same time period.
Banning spring weigh-ins is a crucial step toward minimizing the effect of PEDV, PRRS and influenza on Wisconsin pork producers. In addition, McGraw still recommends that fairs hold terminal shows, where pigs go to slaughter after the show. It is completely up to the counties to develop plans locally with locker plants and slaughter facilities to make this work for them.