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Weekly Overview: South Africa Now Accepting US Pork

7 March 2016, at 6:00am

ANALYSIS - South Africa is now importing pork from the US after the Obama administration threatened to suspend the country's trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

US pork was originally banned by South Africa due to the threat of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). However, the US argued that there is no documented scientific case of PRRS being transmitted to domestic livestock through imported pork.

Following the opening by South Africa, the US can now ship a variety of raw, frozen pork, including bellies, hams, loins, ribs and shoulders, for unrestricted sale and other pork for further processing.

“The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is pleased that South Africa has followed through with a commitment to open its market to US pork. Now, we can sell safe, high-quality and affordable US pork to more than 50 million new consumers,” said NPPC President Dr Ron Prestage.

In other news, new research by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, US, is looking at the environmental aspects of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) virus spread.

The group of researchers investigated whether composting could eliminate the infectious virus and found it to be effective.

“We’re confident that composting is an effective method to dispose of on-farm mortalities and help limit the spread of PEDV when the piles are constructed and managed properly to achieve internal pile temperatures of 120 to 130°F,” said Amy Millmier Schmidt, assistant professor and livestock bioenvironmental engineer in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.

The researchers also looked at adding lime to manure containing the PED virus to determine if a significant pH change in the manure would eliminate the infectious virus.

Results revealed that treating manure with lime to raise the manure pH to 10 for at least one hour will eliminate infectious virus in the manure.

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