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Bacon prices up: Deadly pig virus forces prices up, job cuts in pork industry

Pig virus forces bacon prices to rise
Pig virus forces bacon prices to rise
Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

The price of bacon is up due to a new virus that is killing millions of baby pigs.

ABC News reports that bacon prices have risen by more than 10 percent due to a new virus known as "porcine epidemic diarrhea" (PED).

The virus reportedly originated in China and is deadly for baby pigs, but does not affect humans or other animals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a price for a pound of bacon rose 13 percent over the past year, with the price for this popular breakfast, lunch and dinner food up in the $5.50 to $6 range in many parts of the country.

Two-headed pig born, chance of survival unlikely due to deformity

Not only are bacon prices rising due to the virus, MSN reports that one of the nation's biggest pork processors, Smithfield Foods recently cut some of the shifts at their North Carolina plant down to four days per week, with possible cuts being made at midwest locations later this spring.

Farmer and veterinarian Craig Rowles tells ABC News that he lost 13,000 pigs back in November. Most of the pigs were babies less than two weeks old.

"It's very difficult for the people who are working the barns at that point ... No one wants to go to work today and think about making the decision of baby pigs that need to be humanely euthanized because they can't get up anymore. Those are very hard days."

MSN reports that officials do not know the virus got into the U.S. but it has spread to 27 states since last May. The federal government has committed $1.7 million to research the disease.

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