The legislature has passed a bill which seeks to end the scourge of pseudorabies on Iowa farms by the end of this year. The deadly disease strikes swine herds, and the bill requires mandatory vaccination of all hogs raised in the northern two-thirds of Iowa. Representative Sandra Greiner, a republican from Keota, raises hogs. Greiner says she’s probably the only person in the Capitol who’s had to eradicate their herd three times due to the disease.Pseudorabies causes respiratory problems and in some cases, spontaneous abortions in pigs. Greiner says four-hundred-10 Iowa swine herds in 66 Iowa counties are now infected with pseudorabies. The bill provides nearly one-million dollars to give a small state subsidy for the costly vaccinations. Representative Roger Thomas, a democrat from Elkader, is another farmer who supported the bill. He says there will be some heartache for some producers, but the legislature has to be tough on the disease to keep Iowa as the top pork producing state.Representative Ralph Klemme, a republican from Le Mars, said pseudorabies is”hot” right now. He says it’s a problem that needs to be curtailed as soon as possible. The bill had one detractor. Representative Mike Cormack, a republican from Fort Dodge, voted “no” as he said small hog farmers with “clean” herds will be burdened by the cost of the vaccinations. He says larger producers have the resources to pay for the vaccinations.The bill cleared the Iowa Senate last night and the Iowa House this afternoon. Governor Vilsack is expected to approve the initiative. Today, 34 states have been completely free of pseudorabies for at least a year and another seven have no current infections.
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