RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - A new virus has killed millions of baby pigs across the nation
in less than a year, threatening pork production and increasing prices.
Tom Leonard, the owner of Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market knows all about the virus.
“What it's affecting is the birthing of the little pigs," he says.
Leonard says his store is starting to feel the effects.
“Right now we're seeing the retail prices have climbed somewhere between 10 to 20 percent depending on the item,” he says.
Experts say this is the first time the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) hits the United States. And since last May, it has killed almost 7 million pigs in 27 states.
Leonard says that--along with the already high beef prices---will start pushing people toward other products like chicken.
"And as there's more of a demand on the chicken, they're going to have to raise their prices."
But there is some good news—this will be temporary.
"This is a little thing that's happening right now, it should be over by the fourth of July. Everything should start coming back down again and back to normal,” said Leonard.
Scientists believe the virus came from China, but they don't know how it got into the United States.Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of RichmondRelated Stories:U.S. Bacon Prices Rise After Virus Kills Baby Pigs