Last week, the Oregon Department of Agriculture reported seeing an increase of out-of-state swine coming into the state from several Midwestern locations, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ODA said closures at meatpacking plants have left farmers with nowhere to process their hogs. Some are choosing to sell them, shipping them all over the country, including Oregon.
“We are seeing truckloads of swine beginning to show up for sale on Facebook, Craigslist and other venues,” said state veterinarian Brad LeaMaster. “Our concern is that not all sellers are following Oregon’s animal importation laws. These are hogs we cannot track and that leads to serious concerns about this new swine population, which could carry diseases that don’t exist in the state. An unknown outbreak could wipe out our swine industry.”
Oregon producers are reminded to bring livestock into the state, animals must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, an entry permit, and individual official identification prior to leaving the farm of origin. ODA also asks buyers to make sure they are working with a reputable dealer and that requirements have been met.
Many hogs are being sold to inexperienced backyard farmers who are raising the animals for their own consumption. ODA asks buyers to also follow up with your veterinarian to establish an appropriate management program. Raising commercial hogs, genetically selected for feed efficiency and growth, can present some challenges if not managed well. Oregon’s swine industry is small with about 11,000 hogs reported statewide. It is unknown how many hogs have been imported into the state illegally.
Please visit ODA’s Animal Import and Export webpage to view import requirements and information about transporting animals between states. You can also contact ODA’s Animal Health Program at (503) 986-4680.
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