USDA official: Pig virus
disrupts U.S. trade more than expected
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[June 05, 2014]
By Tom Polansek
DES MOINES Iowa (Reuters) -
The impact of a deadly pig virus on U.S. trade is
mounting, with 11 countries limiting imports of live
hogs and one banning pork imports, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's top veterinarian said on Wednesday.
El Salvador, Guatemala and South Africa have banned imports of live
U.S. hogs following the discovery of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDv)
in the United States last year, John Clifford, the USDA's chief
veterinary officer, said.
China, Japan, the European Union and Russia have restricted hog
imports, while four other countries have imposed unofficial
limitations, he said.
Uzbekistan has banned imports of U.S. pork, while Costa Rica has
banned imports of pork casings.
"This is beginning to have a much greater impact than what any of us
initially thought that it would," Clifford said about PEDv at an
industry gathering in Des Moines, Iowa.
PEDv has wiped out an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. pig
population in the past year. The USDA has tried to calm concerns
among trading partners about the virus, which the agency says does
not threaten humans or food safety.
The EU last month said it would require any pig blood products
imported for use in pig feed be kept in storage for six weeks at
room temperature to ensure any PEDv is deactivated.
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"We told them that's way too long for the product to need to sit,"
The United States last year exported about $6 billion worth of pork
and $30.5 million worth of live hogs.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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