May 15th, 2013 - Jill Ettinger
Big news out of New Jersey, particularly if you’re a pregnant pig: The state legislature voted to ban gestation crates by a vote of 60 to 5 in the Assembly and in the Senate by a vote of 29 to 4. It now goes to Governor Christie’s desk, where he’s expected to sign it into law.
Read More:Pigs Fly in New Jersey: State Passes Ban on Cruel Gestation Crates
January 21st, 2011 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
European health officials are now warning that the German dioxin outbreak may be worse than previously thought – extending beyond tainted eggs – and prompting some countries to take harsher action.
The dioxin scare surfaced after 3,000 tonnes (over 6,600 pounds) of an animal feed additive sold in Germany were discovered to contain trace amounts of dioxin, causing officials to ban many farms from selling eggs.
Read More:German Dioxin Scare Spreads: Countries Cracking Down
October 19th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
As we reported on Saturday, pigs on display at the Minnesota State Fair were undergoing confirmatory tests to determine whether they were infected with H1N1 (swine flu).
Earlier today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus was present in samples collected at the fair. Additional samples are being tested.
At press time, the USDA believes the Minnesota case “does not suggest infection of commercial herds because show pigs and commercially raised pigs are in separate segments of the swine industry that do not typically interchange personnel or animal stock.”
Vilsack once again is reassuring Americans that eating pork does not pose any infection dangers.
We’ll continue to monitor the story for you.
Read More:This Little Piggy Has Swine Flu
October 17th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is testing some Minnesota pigs to confirm whether they are infected with the H1N1 virus (swine flu).
If so, this would be the first U.S. case of H1N1 in a swine population.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, pigs at the Minnesota State Fair were routinely tested between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1. Preliminary results revealed some of the pigs were infected, even though they showed no signs of illness and seemed healthy.
“Like people, swine routinely get sick or contract influenza viruses,” Vilsack says. “We currently are testing the Minnesota samples to determine if this is 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza. We are working in partnership with CDC, as well as our animal and public health colleagues, and will continue to provide information as it becomes available.”
The results may be in within the next few days.
The pork industry is already freaking out about the PR implications, and Vilsack is working with them to remind Americans that “they cannot get this flu from eating pork or pork products.”
While there was an outbreak of H1N1 in a group of children housed in a state-fair dormitory—at the same time samples were collected from the pigs—the USDA says there’s no direct link. The children, however, may have infected the pigs.
Meanwhile, the USDA is reminding pig producers to heed hygiene standards to prevent the introduction and spread of flu. The agency also urges them to participate in its swine influenza virus surveillance program, which monitors pig populations in an effort to detect illness and develop new vaccines.
Read More:Swine Flu a Possibility in Minnesota Pigs