The National Pork Board is earmarking additional funds for research in the fight against the further spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – PEDV. Karen Richter – Minnesota producer and NPB President – says this has become one of the most serious and devastating diseases U.S. pig farmers have faced in decades. While it has no impact on food safety – she says it has clear implications for the pork industry in terms of supplying pork to consumers. According to USDA – PEDV has surfaced in 26 states. Paragon Economics President and Pork Checkoff consultant Steve Meyer estimates the loss of more than five-million piglets in the past several months – with 1.3-million lost in January alone. Meyer says losses of this magnitude will ultimately have a consumer impact through a reduction in supply. Richter says the number one priority is to address PEDV. According to the Checkoff – part of the supplemental funding of 650-thousand dollars will be used for feed-related research to better understand the potential role feed may play in PEDV transmission. A portion of the funding will also be used to identify ways to increase sow immunity and to better understand transmission and biosecurity risks.
The Pork Checkoff is also announcing a new collaboration with a number of industry players – including the National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the National Grain and Feed Association. Working together – the project will align swine, feed and veterinary groups to bring an even higher level of collaboration in the fight against the disease – which continues to cause a heavy loss of piglets on farms across the U.S. Richter hopes others will join this coordinated effort to define risks and share information to contain the further spread of PEDV.
Source: NAFB News Service