In the latest Humane Society of the United States “undercover investigation” they claim that large farming operations are to blame for the emergence and breakout of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
HSUS spokesperson Paul Shapiro says, “These types of facilities, where animals are locked up in extraordinarily stressful, unsanitary conditions where they are nose-to-nose or beak-to-beak, are often incubators for these types of illnesses. Often, when we treat animals like they are unites on a production line – we’re not doing them any favors and we’re not doing ourselves any favors, either.”
Illinois swine veterinarian Jim Lowe says there is absolutely no science behind that accusation. “PEDv, like in all diseases – the bug doesn’t know the size of the farm,” he says. “It’s an equal opportunity infector of pigs. So age or size – it is non-discriminate.”
Lowe tells Brownfield we’re still unsure how the virus got into the country. “We know that it came from China,” he says. “Somehow the virus walked from China to the United States. Big farms had nothing to do with it. Farm size or how we operate farms had nothing to do with how this virus got into the country or how it’s spread.”
And because the spread of PEDv continues at a rapid pace, he says it is vitally important that farms practice strict biosecurity measures.