Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

02-22-08

Contacts: Butch Baker, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, (515) 294-9358, rbbacker@iastate.edu

Tracy Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602, traef@iastate.edu

Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704, kuester@iastate.edu

Iowa State University veterinarian studies swine deaths in China

AMES, Iowa -- Dr. Butch Baker, an Iowa State University senior clinician in the College of Veterinary Medicine, was part of a team of researchers that were invited to China to investigate cases of high-fever disease in that country.

Baker, along with researchers from South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, Massey University in New Zealand and a private company, Tetracore Inc., spent two weeks studying the causes of death of more than 100 million pigs in China during the past year.

The team's findings are being compiled at the National Pork Board, which sponsored the trip, and should be out later this year.

"Our mission was to look at the symptoms and clinical pathology of the disease and, if possible, discover the causive agent," said Baker.

China once produced more than 700 million pigs each year.

In comparison, said Baker, the United States produces a little more than 100 million pigs each year.

"So they lost as many pigs as we produce in our country," he said.

Baker said that pork is the favorite meat among Chinese, and the loss of pigs is having its effect.

"We were there for two weeks and were served one pork meal the entire time," Baker said.

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Quick look

Butch Baker of the College of Veterinary Medicine was part of a team of researchers that were invited to China to investigate cases of high-fever disease in that country.

Quote

"Our mission was to look at the symptoms and clinical pathology of the disease and, if possible, discover the causive agent."

Butch Baker