Swine Flu? No Word of It at Pork Expo.
By David Brown Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 5, 2009
DES MOINES -- Here at the World Pork Expo, H1N1 influenza is many contradictory things -- an unfolding disaster and a passing inconvenience, a cause of the pork industry's woes and an excuse for them, evidence of good animal husbandry and a challenge to it.
About the only thing it isn't is "swine flu." Never should have been called that, everyone agrees -- and don't even think of calling it that now.
H1N1 flu is casting a distinctly dappled shadow across the Iowa State Fair Grounds, where 18,000 pork producers (including about 3,000 from 50 foreign countries), 450 exhibitors and 2,500 pigs are spending much of this week.
"I wish I had better news for you," Don Butler, president of the National Pork Producers Council, said Wednesday as the three-day event opened. His news was that over the next six months, enough farmers would go out of business to shrink the sow herd -- the swine industry's four-legged engine -- by about 5 percent. Read More
There’s no doubt that our pork producers were the true victims of H1N1. Even though the flu isn’t in the headlines anymore, it is still causing damage. Several countries still won’t accept imports of pork from the US based on unfounded fears that the virus could be passed through the meat. Remember this when people say groups like HSUS aren’t trying to abolish animal agriculture. They did all they could to create a fear of eating pork when the disease outbreak occurred. Family farmers are now paying the price.