Waterkeeper Alliance Urging State To Stop Hog Virus Contamination

A new and potentially hazardous disease has spread to hog farms here in Eastern Carolina. The virus, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, is referred to as P.E.D.

One environmental group is calling on Governor Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency, until a plan for stopping the outbreak is in place.

Larry Baldwin, Coordinator of the North Carolina Waterkeeper Alliance, says P.E.D first arrived in 2013 and is showing up more and more on hog farms.

Baldwin says, "From what we understand, it is just wiping out massive numbers of these piglets."

The Waterkeeper Alliance says hogs that die of this virus, which are buried in the ground, could spread the virus into ground drinking water.

That could be a problem for people like Kathy Tripp who live close to these hog farms.

Tripp says, "Well I'm thankful that I'm on city water so I don't have to worry about it. It would be more considerate if they would post signs and let people know that this does exist."

Baldwin says farms aren't required to notify anyone if their hogs have the disease, even though some do post a P.E.D. sign.

Other farms use the boxes to store their dead hogs, but Baldwin says that can also spread the infection.

The Waterkeeper Alliance wrote a letter to the State Department of Agriculture requesting Governor Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency.

The Department of Agriculture says they are reviewing the requests made by the Waterkeeper Alliance and will respond as soon as possible.