USDA announces funding to combat pig virus

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



Washington, June 5, 2014 - In response to the significant impact porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) are having on U.S. pork producers, USDA today announced $26.2 million in funding to combat these diseases. Additionally, USDA 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.

These viruses do not pose any risk to human health or food safety, and they are commonly detected in countries around the world.

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In the last year, industry estimates PEDv has killed roughly 7 million piglets. USDA estimates the number of market-ready hogs this summer could fall by more than 10 percent relative to 2013 because of virus.

“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 percent in the past year,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

"We're hopeful the USDA plan will work,” said NPPC President Dr. Howard Hill. “We still need to see the fine details of the program, but if 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.”

USDA says the $26.2 million will be used for a variety of activities to support producers and combat these diseases, including:

- $3.9 million to be used by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to support the development of vaccines

- $2.4 million to cooperative agreement funding for States to support management and control activities

- $500,000 to herd veterinarians to help with development and monitoring of herd management plans and sample collection

- $11.1 million in cost-share funding for producers of infected herds to support biosecurity practices.

- $2.4 million for diagnostic testing

- $1.5 million to National Animal Health Laboratory Network diagnostic laboratories for genomic sequencing for newly positive herds

APHIS' Federal Order requires producers, veterinarians, and diagnostic laboratories to report all cases of PEDv and other new swine enteric coronavirus diseases to USDA and state animal health officials. The industry is already seeing herds previously impacted by the virus become re-infected, and routine and standard disease reporting will help identify the magnitude of the disease in the United States and can help determine whether additional actions are needed, USDA says.

The Federal Order also requires that operations reporting these viruses work with their veterinarian or USDA or state animal health officials to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread. Plans will be based on industry-recommended best practices, and include disease monitoring through testing and biosecurity measures. USDA says steps will help to reduce virus shed in affected animals, prevent further spread of the disease, and enable continued movement of animals for production and processing.

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