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Chinese Tote Bags Thought to be Cause of US PED Outbreaks, says USDA

01 October 2015

US - An investigation by the USDA has found that Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) may have entered the US through reusable containers used to transport bulk material, such as feed or pet food, from China, writes Lucy Towers, ThePigSite Editor.

The US APHIS investigation into the root cause of the US Swine Enteric Coronavirus Disease (SECD) outbreaks, including PED which started ravaging through pig farms across the country back in 2013, looked at a variety of possible scenarios.

Although the investigation report did not conclude with definite proof for any of the scenarios, a small number of them were deemed plausible.

The most likely scenario is that Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBC) coming from China to the US were contaminated with the virus back in China.

It is likely that the virus was then spread onto US farms as the bags are designed to be reused and may have transported feed or ingredients  to a feed mill.

Once the contaminated material reached here, it would be easy for feed destined for farms around the country to become contaminated.

The report also noted that it is not common practice to clean and disinfect the FIBCs between uses in the US.

A follow-up test by APHIS for this scenario also supports the hypothesis as it showed the virus could easily remain stable through the time needed to travel to the US and infect pigs.

To read the report, please click here.

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Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.

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