By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
A new federal policy will now require pork producers in the United States to report cases of the deadly pig virus known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDv). Until now, reporting was done on a voluntary basis.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the mandate on Friday [April 18].
Government officials hope that with more accurate data that they will be able to curb the virus from spreading to more U.S. farms. Since last spring, the pig virus has killed approximately four million piglets. PEDv poses no risk to human health or food safety.
More than 4,000 outbreaks of PEDv have been reported in 30 U.S. states. The USDA says it will require data on pig movement, vehicles and other traffic leaving affected farms.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the USDA has been working with the pork industry to address the problem. He adds that through collaboration, government and industry have been able to establish testing protocols, sequenced the virus and are examining further how to virus is transmitted.
Pork processors like Tyson Foods have estimated that the virus could lower U.S. pork production by about two to four percent. Tightening pork supplies.