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USDA Requires Reporting of PEDv

Kacey Birchmier Updated: 04/21/2014 @ 10:41am I grew up on a fourth-generation farm in central Iowa. Follow me on twitter - @KaceyBirchmier.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the USDA will require reporting of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and swine delta coronavirus in order to slow the spread of this disease across the U.S. This is in an effort to further enhance the biosecurity and health of the U.S. swine herd while maintaining movement of pigs.

The virus, fatal to almost 100% of infected piglets less than 2 weeks old, isn’t an airborne threat. However, it can spread easily throughout an entire facility by only a small amount of manure.

USDA is taking this latest action due to the devastating effect on swine health since it was first confirmed in the country last year, even though PEDv it is not a reportable disease under international standards. PEDv only affects pigs, does not pose a risk to people, and is not a food safety concern.

Read more about the virus here.

"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," said Vilsack. "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."

Along with requiring the reporting of the virus, tracking movements of pigs, vehicles, and other equipment leaving the premises must be reported. The USDA is working with industry partners to increase the assistance to producers who have experienced the virus outbreaks such as disease surveillance, herd monitoring, and epidemiological and technical support.

USDA’s Farm Loan Programs is working with producers to provide credit options, including restructuring loans. In the case of guaranteed loans, USDA is encouraging guaranteed lenders to use all the flexibility available under existing guarantees, and to use new guarantees where appropriate to continue financing their regular customers.

USDA is already providing assistance to researchers looking into this disease. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is working with the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, to make models of the disease transmission and testing feedstuffs. So far, this modeling work is contributing to experimental vaccines to treat animals with the disease. ARS also has a representative serving as a member of the Swine Health Board. USDA also provides competitive grant funding through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program and anticipates that some applications on PEDv research will be submitted soon. In addition, USDA provides formula funds to states and universities through the Hatch Act and National Animal Health Disease Section 1433 for research activities surrounding this disease.

Source: USDA

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