Monday, June 8, 2009

Flu Infected Herd Destroyed

Hog farmer destroys herd quarantined for swine flu
Andrea Sands, Canwest News Service

EDMONTON -- The Alberta hog farmer whose herd was quarantined after the animals were infected with swine flu has culled his entire herd, says a news release from Alberta Pork.

Arnold Van Ginkel said in the release Sunday he made the business decision because he couldn't sell the pigs, even though the animals were safe to eat. The quarantine by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency meant no animals from the farm could be marketed until testing showed the virus was gone and all the animals were healthy, the release said.

"I am disappointed that I have to cull these animals, but the presence of the Type A H1N1 virus in my herd left me with few options," said Van Ginkel, who had more than 2,000 pigs on his farm near Rocky Mountain House, west of Red Deer.

"With the quarantine still in place, I was facing another partial cull due to overcrowding and no prospects for marketing my animals once they were given a clean bill of health. The only real option left was to have a complete cull and end the uncertainty for my farm and for the entire pork industry." Read More

This is an unfortunate end to an unfortunate situation. Because of the unfounded fears over H1N1 and livestock, Van Ginkel would have never been able to market these animals. For the industry, this was the most responsible thing to have happen. Hopefully this farm family can recover from the financial and emotional hardship this has caused.

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