Friday, February 21, 2014

HSUS wrong on PEDv

Swine veterinarians say the latest video from the Humane Society of the United States got things wrong on how hog farmers are tackling Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.

The video shows staff gutting a piglet that died of the virus and putting the entrails through a blender so they can be added to sow rations.

It’s a well-known practice to prompt healthy pigs to develop antibodies to ward off the disease, not some cruel practice, say the critics of the video.

They also say the HSUS got it wrong in claiming that PEDv is the result of raising pigs indoors.

“There’s no question that people may be put off by this treatment, but PEDv is wreaking havoc out there on the farms and 'feedback' is the only control method we have found to be effective,” said Dr. Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

He said the virus is so new to North America that there hasn’t been time to develop a vaccine.

The Center for Food Integrity consulted a panel of members, including Burkgren, to respond quickly to the HSUS video.

The HSUS has been a thorn in the side of the pork industry, pushing hard for the last two years to convince pork customers to demand that their pork come from farms that do not use sow gestation stalls.