Market News & Headlines >> USDA Formalizes Pig Virus Reporting

USDA on Thursday formalized a requirement that the pork industry report and track new incidents of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and swine delta coronavirus, which are estimated to have killed millions of young pigs.

The USDA issued a federal order to complete measures, originally announced in April. The order requires producers, veterinarians, laboratories or others with knowledge of the disease to report all cases of PEDv and other new swine enteric coronavirus diseases to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or state animal health officials. Those who fail to comply risk fines or other penalties.  

"In the last year, industry has estimated PEDv has killed some 7 million piglets and caused tremendous hardship for many American pork producers," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. The government's steps "will strengthen the response" to the disease and “help us lessen the impact to producers, which ultimately benefit the consumers who have seen store pork prices rise by almost 10 percent in the past year," Vilsack added.

The Federal Order also requires that operations reporting these viruses work with their veterinarian or USDA or State animal health officials to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread. Plans will be based on industry-recommended best practices, and include disease monitoring through testing and biosecurity measures.

PEDv has been found on hog farms in 30 states since it was first identified in the U.S. last spring, but because pork producers until now haven't been required to report each incident of the virus, the overall impact on the industry is unclear.

USDA also said $26.2 million in federal funding will go toward supporting the development of vaccines for the diseases, and testing, management and control activities at the state and federal levels.