PED Virus Found in Utah

UTAH, US - Utah pig producers are being advised to raise their biosecurity as tests confirm the presence of the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) on one hog farm in the state.
calendar icon 4 September 2014
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Tests conducted by the USDA’s National Veterinary Service Laboratory have confirmed the presence the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) at the Circle 4 hog farm in Beaver County, Utah. The farm is Utah’s largest hog farm and one of the largest in the country.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea is a virus that causes significant sickness in young swine, affecting their growth and health, and causes high mortality in piglets. PEDv is not a threat to humans or other animal species.

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) says that PEDV is a pig farming virus only affecting pigs. It poses no risk to other animals, humans or food safety. Pork remains safe to eat. Currently, it continues, there is a conditional license for a PEDv vaccine available to pork producers. PEDV is not a new virus; it has been found in countries worldwide.

The disease is common in parts of Asia and Europe, and was first reported in the US 16 months ago. Since then, more than 5,500 cases have been reported in as many as 30 states including Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona.

Acting State Veterinarian, Dr Warren Hess, is advising Utah hog and pig producers to: “Remain vigilant regarding their animal biosecurity practices on their farms. Increased animal health security measures can not only help defend against PEDv but can also prevent the spread of many other livestock diseases.”

In May, the UDAF issued an emergency order intended to protect the State’s $200-million swine industry by placing restrictions on livestock shows involving hogs and pigs. The order required any fair or show to be a “terminal” show, which means that after the show swine would go directly to slaughter and therefore reduce the threat of spreading any disease.

The USDA has agreed to work with UDAF veterinarians to fund testing on the farm that has been diagnosed with PEDv, and to assure that stringent animal biosecurity practices are in place. The joint agreement also calls for expanded disease mitigation education efforts for Utah’s pork industry.

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