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NY State Fair Suspends Piglets and Sows Exhibit and Competition for 2014

Getty Images/ Joern Pollex

When you go to the Great New York State Fair later this summer, there’s one thing you won’t see you won’t see….It’s Piglets and Sows. Thanks to PED.

It’s fairly new virus known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED). The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has decided to suspend the Sows and Piglets exhibit and competition at the Fair this year. They want to protect the health and safety of piglets and their mothers at the Fair.

PED is relatively new to the US.  It first appeared in the Midwest in May 2013 and has since spread to about half the US. Cases have now been identified in NY and 24 other states.

It looks like the exhibitors agree. Ed Dutton, Owner of Churchill Farms said, “I’ve been exhibiting my animals, including piglets and sows, over the past ten years at the Great New York State Fair. I understand the Fair’s decision to suspend the sow and litter exhibit this year and agree with that decision.  We’ll return to the Fair this year with an array of market hogs and breeding stock for fairgoers to enjoy.”

The disease has taken a heavy toll on the nation’s hog farmers, having caused the death of an estimated 5 million piglets in just under one year.  When sows and litters become infected, PED kills nearly 100% of piglets less than 10 days old, while pigs older than 10 days tend to recover.

There is no vaccine yet to protect pigs against PED. PED only infects swine. Other animal species are not affected. PED cannot be transmitted to humans and does not affect food safety.   PED is caused by a Corona virus and is highly infectious to swine. You can learn more about PED go here.

Adult male and female pigs without piglets will still be on display in the goat, llama and swine barn at this year’s Fair. The Fair runs from August 21st to September 1st.

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