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Hog producers urged to get their flu shot

Hog farmers seldom think about it, but the flu is a disease risk for which protection is easy and cheap.

“Getting your flu shot is a three-way win,” Jenelle Hamblin, manager of swine health with the Manitoba Pork Council, said at the organization’s Niverville regional meeting Nov. 1.

“You’re protecting yourself. You’re protecting the general population. You’re also protecting your pigs.”

Influenza is both a human and a pig disease. It is capable of jumping the species barrier and frequently does.

Last year a number of people in Manitoba were found to be ill with swine forms of flu, highlighting a risk that is often overlooked.

Flu can be a herd management problem in a number of ways. When barn managers and staff get sick and need to miss days of work, taking care of the animals can become a challenge, especially in times of labour shortages.

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