If you are a fan of bacon, you won't like to hear this story. The price of bacon is set to soar in the US as a virus in the pig population has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year. Pig farmers and authorities have no idea how to stop the virus or prevent it from killing off livestock.
With millions of pigs dying, prices of bacon are set to go up by 10% or more. Time repots that one economist believes that the virus may have killed off 6 million piglets in 27 states since the virus showed up. The virus is known as porcine epidemic diarrhea.
It landed in the US last May. A conservative estimate from the US Department of Agriculture believes that the pig herds in the US have shrank by at least 3% since the disease appeared. Scientists say that the virus can’t infect humans and is believed to have come from China.
Production is expected to decline in the pork market by 7% this year, which is the largest drop in the last 30 years. Prices have already climbed at the grocery store, as bacon fans have undoubtedly noticed. The price of a pound of bacon has gone up 13% compared to a year ago averaging out at $5.46 in February.
One rancher had 13,000 animals die off in only a few weeks. Most of the pigs that died were less than 2 weeks old. The man's farm produces about 150,000 pigs each year.
“It’s very difficult for the people who are working the barns at that point,” Rowles said. “… No one wants to go to work today and think about making the decision of baby pigs that need to be humanely euthanized because they can’t get up anymore. Those are very hard days.”