USDA announces multi-million dollar investment in fight against pig disease

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: World pork expo, National pork producers, Pig, Usda, Livestock, Pork

It is hoped the moves will help lessen the impact on producers
It is hoped the moves will help lessen the impact on producers
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has pledged $26.2 million in funding to combat the threat of pig disease.

With outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) and porcine deltacoronavirus having a significant impact on pork producers in the US, the funding will be used for a variety of activities to support them.

Among the areas where money will be spent are the development of vaccines, the development and monitoring of herd management plans and sample collection, and biosecurity practices.

In addition, the USDA has issued a Federal Order requiring the reporting of new detections of these viruses to its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or state animal health officials.

Tom Vilsack, US Secretary of Agriculture, who announced the new measures at the World Pork Expo in Iowa last week, said: "In the last year, industry has estimated PEDv has killed some seven million piglets and caused tremendous hardship for many American pork producers.

"The number of market-ready hogs this summer could fall by more than 10% relative to 2013 because of PEDv. Together with industry and our State partners, the steps we will take through the Federal Order will strengthen the response to PEDv and these other viruses and help us lessen the impact to producers, which ultimately benefit the consumers who have seen store pork prices rise by almost 10% in the past year."

Doctor Howard Hill, president of the National Pork Producers Council, said: "We’re hopeful the USDA plan will work. We still need to see the fine details of the program, but if the USDA can focus a lot of the plan on researching and testing this devastating disease and on helping producers enhance their biosecurity, that would go a long way to helping us know how to control and to prevent the virus."

According to a statement issued by the USDA, the World Organisation for Animal Health has said it believes that cases of PEDv and other swine enteric coronavirus diseases should not be the basis for countries to restrict exports of pork and pork products from the US.

Related topics: Meat

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