Environmental organizations express concern over PED virus

Feb 27, 2014

An environmental group is seeking a state of emergency be declared in the wake of a virus found in about a third of the state’s large commercial hog farms. George Olsen has more.

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea… or PED… virus usually kills piglets. It’s affecting swine herds nationwide, with about 2 percent of the herd expected to be lost. The Waterkeeper Alliance and North Carolina Riverkeepers are asking  state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler to request a state of emergency to deal with the PED mortality problem in the state. A press release from the organizations expresses concern about the normal practice of burying dead pigs in mass graves. They say there's a high risk of contamination of shallow groundwater and nearby waterways, possibly transmitting bacteria and pathogens to drinking water supplies and recreational waters. The state of emergency would allow local and state authorities to inspect facilities where the PED virus has killed swine. I’m George Olsen.