Monday, June 8, 2009

Entire Alta. herd of 3,000 hogs culled due to lingering effects of swine flu

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — A central Alberta pig farmer whose herd was infected with the new swine flu virus culled his entire herd last week, according to a news release issued by Alberta Pork on Sunday.

The farmer, Arnold Van Ginkel, said the virus was still present in his herd and the animals couldn't be marketed because they were under quarantine and he was facing a problem with overcrowding.

"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," Van Ginkel is quoted as saying in the release. "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."

Van Ginkel had previously culled 500 animals from his herd. Federal and Alberta health officials have speculated that the herd became infected in April by a worker who had been vacationing in Mexico.

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