April 28th, 2009
03:34 PM ET

Hog farmers fear: not germs, but consumers

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/04/28/flu.masks/art.getty.facemasks.jpg]
Dave Gathman
The Courier News

The swine flu has filled the area's hog farmers with fear — not that they will catch a deadly disease from their animals, but that grocery shoppers will become needlessly afraid of buying their product.

At one of the few remaining hog farms in Kane County, just outside Hampshire, co-owner Pat Dumoulin said her family is always intensely conscious about the risk of spreading bacteria and viruses — not so much to protect humans from their pigs as to prevent their pigs from picking up germs that some human tracked in from another hog farm.

"We're not worried about" catching the flu from the herd at all, Dumoulin said. "We treat the operation like a hospital. We don't let outside people go into the (livestock) buildings. If we visit another farm, we put on rubber boots and take the boots off before we come back. We don't even take hogs to the county fair anymore for the same reason, though that disappoints our children."


Filed under: 360º Follow • Public Health
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. leon Archer

    Now everybody is acting like this Swine Flu is such a surprise! We are letting people pour across our border from a country that don't inoculate their population. Sit beside our children, live in our neighborhood, and we are surprise that we have an epidemic!

    April 28, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    We've had pork recently as well with no ill effects; we can't eat it much though because of the impact it has on cholesterol. .

    April 28, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  3. Lisa

    abc – I agree with you about continuing to eat pork. U.S. pork is safe to eat as long as it has been processed in the U.S.

    April 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  4. abc ~ anything but california hugh

    My wife and I have been eating grilled and barbecued pork for the past two weeks now, with no ill effects other than gaining a few extra pounds on the waistline. If people continue to live in fear and the price of pork goes even lower thats fine with me; I'll buy more and eat more. You can't get swine flu from eating pork, but you may want to alter your diet after gaining some unwanted weight!

    April 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm |