Cargill plans H1N1 inoculation, Smithfield undecided

by Bryan Salvage
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WAYZATA, MINN. — Cargill plans to vaccinate 120,000 sows located primarily in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas against the H1N1 virus, according to company spokesman Mark Klein. Such inoculations would also have a positive affect on the sows’ offspring.

This news was first published when Mr. Klein answered questions from a Minnesota public radio reporter who was following up on a story in which U.S.D.A. was urging producers to use the vaccine when it became available, likely by the end of this year.

"This vaccine is not the same as what would be used for humans, and it will be produced by companies that aren’t working on the human vaccine," Mr. Klein wrote in an e-mail to MEATPOULTRY.com. "We hoped it would be available for our regular semi-annual vaccinations of our sow herd.

"While the risk of re-assortment or mutation is very low, we think we should take the precaution to prevent the human H1N1 from getting into pigs," he added. "We have good biosecurity, but if the swine H1N1 vaccine was available — why wouldn’t we use it?"

When MEATPOULTRY.com asked Smithfield Foods if it had plans to inoculate its swine against H1N1, Keira Ullrich, director of investor relations and corporate communications, replied, "At this point in time, we do not have all the information we need regarding vaccine availability, distribution, costs and other issues to make that decision."

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