Potentially fatal disease is affecting pigs across the country

WISCONSIN (WITI) -- A disease is bringing some serious changes to how Wisconsin farmers are treating their pigs. In some cases, the disease can be fatal, and it spreads quickly.

Raechelle Cline with the Agriculture Department's Division of Animal Health says it's an outbreak that is costly.

"The disease itself has cost millions across the country," Cline said.

The disease is the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PED-V.

"We wanna make sure that we stop the transmission of this disease as soon as we possibly can," Cline said.

The disease is a pig killer. Pigs that we raise, love and eat -- so it is important to keep them safe and healthy.

To do that, the State Veterinarian banned spring fair weigh-ins and only recommends "terminal shows" -- shows were pigs are slaughtered afterwards.

"We hope that this is something that people realize the importance of stopping the spread of this disease so that we don't devastate our pork industry in the state of Wisconsin," Cline said.

That way, pigs that may have the disease can't get others sick.

The good news here is that this disease cannot be transmitted to humans.

Curt Watson has a pig farm in Edgerton. He takes the virus so seriously he didn't want to speak with a news reporter on his farm.

"I didn't let you on the farm because I don't know where you've been," Watson said.

Watson's farm sees about 600 new piglets every year.

"We're an average sized family farm," Watson said.

He says he understands the new ban.

"It is serious and it's something that needs to be looked at from all sides," Watson said.

Watson says these "terminal shows" would be hard on kids that raise and learn to love these animals because they become attached -- but we still have to keep the pigs and the businesses they support as safe and healthy as possible.