Posted January 28, 2014
 
A virus already responsible for killing about one million piglets in the United States has been reported in Canada, according to an article by the Canadian Press available here.
 
The PEDV (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) was discovered in a farm in Middlesex County, Ontario.  While the virus has mortality rates as high as 100 percent to piglets, it poses no risk to human health or food safety, according to a Bloomberg article available here
 
The affected farm followed strict biosecurity protocols, but the virus is “extremely difficult to contain and more cases are possible.”
 
The virus is also spreading in the U.S., according to an article by Reuters here.  According to the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network, the number of confirmed cases rose by 122 last week.
 
The loss may raise the price of pork eventually, but the “losses from PEDV have not had a chance to filter all the way through even to the price of pigs yet,” said Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics in Adel, Iowa, according to NPR here.  Meyer says many other factors affect prices, including feed, but farmers are adjusting to reduce the overall loss and keep prices steady.
 
A recent reportby the USDA, shows the total U.S. swine herd at almost 66 million animals.
 
Animal heath companies continue to work on vaccines, and while one vaccine is already available, it is not 100 percent effective, so researchers are developing a “generation two” vaccine.

 

For more information on animal feeding operations, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.