27 Apr 2009

Swine flu precautions advised for pig farmers

9:20 pm on 27 April 2009

The Pork Industry Board is advising pig farmers to take precautions against their pigs catching swine flu.

The virus, which is thought to have originated from pigs, has killed more than 100 people in Mexico, and has mostly affected healthy young adults.

Board chief executive Sam McIvor says there has never been a case of swine influenza in pigs in New Zealand and humans cannot pick it up from eating pork or pork products.

But he says pig farmers are worried about the potential for pigs to catch swine flu from humans.

He says there have been examples of human flu being transferred to animals. In light of this the industry is advising commercial pig farmers and backyard operators to minimise movements on or off their farms and be vigilant.

Mr McIvor says farmers can get more information from the industry website, including how they can identify influenza in their pigs.