The U.S. and Canadian hog industries have recently
developed partnerships to research what role, if any, feed or feed
ingredients have had in the transmission of PEDv, the National Pork
Board said earlier this week. The report from USDA's NAHLN does not
include test results from feed samples.
No new states reported cases leaving the affected states at 27, the
group of animal researchers said.
While one case can represent an individual animal or an entire herd
at a single site, hog industry analysts estimate PEDv has killed an
estimated 5 million U.S. hogs since it was discovered in May 2013.
"Unfortunately it has spread rapidly this winter, especially here in
Ohio," said Duane Stateler, Ohio Pork Council president and hog
producer with a 7,200 head operation.
PEDv, which does not affect humans and is not a food safety risk,
causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in pigs. While
older pigs have a chance of survival, 80 to 100 percent of piglets
that contract it die.
"The smaller the pig the harder it is for them to recover and come
back," Stateler said.
The U.S. hog industry has grappled with tactics to contain the
spread of the highly contagious pig virus using strict biosecurity
measures as its main line of defense.
The spread of the virus has already crimped market ready hog supply
not only in the U.S. Midwest but also along the East Coast, forcing
some pork packing plants to reduce slaughter operations.
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There is talk in the hog industry of some Midwest pork packing
facilities considering several operations of either cutting one day
a week, trimming daily operating hours, or eliminating Saturdays and
overtime in order to reduce total operating hours, hog dealers have
Last week, Smithfield Foods Inc. suspended hog slaughter on Friday
at its Tar Heel, North Carolina, plant which has a slaughter
capacity of 30,000 to 34,000 head as PEDv has tightened hog
supplies, industry sources said.
(Reporting by Meredith Davis; editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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