USDA announces new measures to control PEDv spread

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

All cases of PEDv must now be reported
All cases of PEDv must now be reported

Related tags Pork Livestock

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it will require reporting of all cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) and Swine Delta Coronavirus in a bid to try and reduce the spread of these diseases.

Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary, said the new measures aimed to further enhance the biosecurity and health of the US swine herd, while still allowing movement of pigs in the US.

PEDv is not a reportable disease under international standards, but it has been said to have had a "devastating effect"​ on the country’s swine population since it was first confirmed in the US in May 2013.

The new measures will also require tracking the movement of pigs, vehicles and other equipment leaving affected premises.

Vilsack: "USDA has been working closely with the pork industry and our state and federal partners to solve this problem. Together, we have established testing protocols, sequenced the virus and are investigating how the virus is transmitted.

"Today’s actions will help identify gaps in biosecurity and help us as we work together to stop the spread of these diseases and the damage caused to producers, industry and, ultimately, consumers."

Meanwhile, across the border in Canada, CA$200,000 in funding has been be pledged by the Canadian government, to be matched by Sask Pork, to go towards a contingency fund to help Saskatchewan’s hog industry respond to potential cases of PEDv.

The funding was announced by Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart, last week. Ritz said: "Vigilance towards PEDv is key to reducing its impact on the Canadian agricultural sector and the economy as a whole. This investment will help the Saskatchewan pork industry take proactive measures to stay in front of this disease."

So far there have been no confirmed cases of PEDv in Saskatchewan hogs, but the provincial government has also made it a reportable disease, requiring laboratories to report the disease to the office of the Chief Veterinary Officer within 24 hours.

Saskatchewan currently has 119 active producers raising 91,900 sows and produces about 2.2 million market hogs.

Last month the US’ National Pork Board has launched a three-pronged strategy to try to stem the spread of PEDv.

More than $1m of additional funding has been earmarked for research into stopping the spread of the virus: $650,000 through supplemental funding approved by the Pork Checkoff at a board meeting last week, and £500,000 through a new agreement with Genome Alberta.

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