U.S. pork prices expected to rise because of African Swine Fever in China

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- A deadly disease rampant at Chinese hog farms is expected to send the price of pork rising in the United States.

Agriculture officials say African Swine Fever is killing pigs overseas.

Hogs are now being slaughtered to prevent the spread of it.

Some farmers in South Central Pennsylvania are also taking steps to save their pigs.

Jon Sweigart raises 12,000 hogs in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.

"We keep a set of coveralls and boots in each barn that can only be worn in each barn so that way we don't track disease from one barn to another," said Jon Sweigart, a pork producer.

He says prevention is key when it comes to livestock living so close together.

"Any disease with raising this many animals is quick to spread," he explained.

That's why we couldn't get our camera any closer than this.

African Swine Fever, a highly contagious disease, is wiping out pigs in China and concerning producers in the United States.

"There have been national efforts made to sort of cancel trade shows, and expos, and travel and trade show activity around it because of the African Swine Fever, so we're concerned," explained Agricultural Secretary Russel Redding.

"If we were to get it in the United States, it would be devastating to the pork industry, but not just the corn industry, corn, soybeans, farmers that grow crops to feed the pigs," explained Sweigart.

Experts believe the loss of so many pigs overseas will drive the price of pork up here in the United States.

The good news: farmers say it's still safe to eat your favorite pork products, and the fever can't be spread from pigs to humans or other animals.

Sweigart says there's also the chance it could increase hog exports from the United States.

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