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Written by Kindra Plumb   

Tips for preventing the spread of disease at livestock shows

4-H livestock exhibitors have numerous responsibilities when they sign up for their project. In addition to feeding, housing and caring for their animal, they also need to stay up to date on any big health concerns or industry changes/trends for the species that they own and will be showing at fair.

Last summer, news emerged of a new virus affecting pigs. This virus, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, has been rapidly spreading through pork production farms across the nation. While PEDV is not transmissible from pigs to humans, the virus is highly fatal to pre-weaned piglets.

Work is being done to develop treatment, but until that happens, efficient biosecurity efforts are the best measure to prevent and slow transmission of the virus.

So what does that mean for 4-H members who will be showing market hogs this summer? All members need to understand the potential health risks of co-mingling pigs at shows and then bringing their pigs back home. They also need to discuss and develop their own biosecurity plan to help keep their animals healthy.

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Holyoke Enterprise May 15, 2014