PED forces California State Fair to close piglet exhibition this year
A viral epidemic that has killed several million pigs across the United States forced organizers of the California State Fair's popular piglet exhibition to close the event this year.
The nasty Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus that spread through fecal matter has so far affected as many as 5,000 pig farms, killing more than 8 million piglets. Responding to the danger, the California State Fair, which is all set to open this Friday, has decided to forego the piglet exhibit.
Announcing the decision, Programs Coordinator Carrie Wright said, "It's not likely that we would have an issue here with our piglets. But on the off chance that an adult pig could bring it in, we have decided not to have baby piglets this year."
The organizers of the state fair have also stepped up veterinary inspections of adult pigs to detect the virus at the earliest possible and prevent its spreading to other animals.
Many other county and state fairs across the United States have taken similar precautions as farmers are struggling to manage the virus, which is said to have originated in China. The devastating virus was discovered in the United States in May last year.
As the virus affected at least 27 states, including California, pork producers have warned that prices of pork will continue to soar in the coming months. Since the start of this year, pork prices have jumped by nearly 10 per cent.
PED affects swine of all ages, but it is particularly fatal in piglets of up to 10 days because of their weak immune systems. Infected piglets become quickly dehydrated and finally die. There is currently no proven vaccine that can fend off the virus. However, it doesn't affect humans or other animals.
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