LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) – Iowa is the leading pork producing state in the U.S. and experts say that’s why it’s important that pig farmers are cautious about who they allow around their animals.
“In Iowa alone, the pork industry accounts for over $32 billion of annual economic development for the state of Iowa,” says Bill Tentinger a pork producer in Le Mars.
Pork producers like Bill Tentinger have to make sure that anyone coming in contact with his pigs is wearing protective gear. He doesn’t want anyone spreading African swine fever to his animals.
“We have stepped up a lot of our bio-security now. I’ve even noticed pigs entering into the country from our northern border’s security is tighter,” said Tentinger.
“When a producer brings pigs in, if they buy pigs from outside the area they need to be able to track where those pigs came from. Do they have the proper heath paperwork are all those I’s dotted and T’s crossed,” said pork marketing agent at Producers Livestock Market Association Jerry Schram.
The African swine fever hasn’t entered the U.S., yet, but Iowa pork producers are trying to stay ahead of the highly contagious disease doesn’t make it’s way to the Midwest.
“Nose-to-nose contact or contact with infected animals that have their body fluid, and through their manure,” says Tentinger.
Tentinger says meat from an infected pig is safe to eat and he says that’s because the swine virus only affects pigs and not people.