Pig Virus May Send Bacon Prices Soaring

'PED' expected to raise cost of pork in coming months

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 11, 2014 11:02 AM CST

(Newser) – Bacon lovers, be warned. A fast-spreading pig virus could send pork prices to record highs in the US, reports the Wall Street Journal. The PED virus, short for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, has hit farms in 22 states so far. It's lethal only to young pigs, not humans, but the Journal says the number of pigs being lost per week is likely to push pork prices beyond the record of $3.81 a pound. A post at Agri-Pulse predicts that the worst spikes will come in the summer.

"This is the toughest disease we've ever gone through," says the general manager of a pork farm in Oklahoma that lost 30,000 piglets over a six-week span. "It was stunning how fast the disease spread. You feel helpless."

Hogs poke their snouts through a fence at a farm in Illinois.
Hogs poke their snouts through a fence at a farm in Illinois.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
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