Hog futures have fallen on speculation that consumers won't buy as much pork after the government-issued alert about swine flu.
Although the virus can't be spread through properly handled pork, Indiana pork producers have concerns.
Pork sales plummeted in 2009 after an outbreak of H1N1 -- initially dubbed the swine flu. That virus had nothing to do with pigs.
But the bug showing up at the Indiana State Fair a day early does.
When six pigs came down with a high fever, the Board of Animal Health cleared out the barn a day early.
"I have never seen it this empty so soon," Bret Marsh, with the Board of Animal Health, told RTV6's Stacia Matthews. "We were actually down just a few hundred pigs after the 4-H exhibits, so, we're down to a very few."
"It's very disappointing," fair visitor Carol Wrightsman said. "There's no animals here. You spend lots of money to come see the animals, and we get nothing."
Visitors can still see pigs on Championship Row.
Meanwhile, sales are steady at the pork tent.
While Indiana's 3,000 pork producers are serving up plenty of crowd favorites at the fair, they're keeping an eye on the hog futures.
Prices fell after the government issued the alert about swine flu.
"Influenza is something that's in the live animal," Josh Trenary, with Indiana Pork Producers, said. "It does not translate into the meat product that we serve. We consider raising pork a profession. We want our product to be safe, and if there was any risk to the human population, we would not serve our product."
Farmers are already facing challenges with the drought and rising feed costs. They can't afford for swine flu to take a bite out of business.
Health officials said they don't know what made the pigs sick. Samples were sent to a lab at Purdue, and vets should have the results in a few days.
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