Smithfield halts hog kill at N. Carolina plant due to hog virus -sources

March 14 Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:05pm EDT

March 14 (Reuters) - Smithfield Foods Inc, the world's largest pork processor, suspended hog slaughter at its Tar Heel, North Carolina, plant on Friday because the spread of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) has tightened hog supplies, industry sources said.

The Tar Heel plant, the company's largest pork processing facility, reduced its slaughter schedule this week to four days from five days, said sources who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

While it is not slaughtering hogs on Friday, the plant is processing meat from this week's kill, the sources said.

PEDv does not affect humans and is not a food safety risk.

Smithfield, acquired last year by China's Shuanghui International, says it does not comment on daily operations, minor disruptions, and openings or closings of processing plants.

Industry sources say the plant processes roughly 30,000 hogs a day.

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