PEDv found in Wyo
In the last week, a Wyoming producer discovered the presence of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in their herd.
“Producers should be aware that PEDv has been found in Wyoming,” says Jim Logan, Wyoming state veterinarian. “It is not something that we will block our borders for or quarantine producers for, but it could have a huge impact on production for the swine industry.”
“PEDv was first found in Iowa last April,” Logan comments. “Since then, it has spread to 22 states, with Wyoming being the 22nd state.”
The disease is not regulated, so states are not putting people or farms under quarantine or regulating borders.
Additionally, PEDv only affects swine and is not a zoonotic disease, meaning there is no impact in humans, but it still poses a serious threat for swine producers.
In newborn or suckling pigs, PEDv causes uncontrollable diarrhea and high death loss.
“It is a very contagious virus transmitted by the fecal-oral route,” Logan adds. “The incubation period-from when an animal is exposed until it breaks with the disease is typically three to four days.”
After that timeframe, Logan notes that many animals die from the virus.
“There is no treatment for PEDv,” he continues. “Producers can put pigs on antibacterials to keep secondary infections at bay, but there is no way to treat the virus itself.”
If pigs do survive, the disease usually runs its course within seven to 10 days of the onset of symptoms.
While Iowa saw an early surge in PEDv cases, CME Group comments that anecdotal evidence indicates that most of those cases were in grow-finish farms where pigs were sickened and slowed a bit but death losses
were not large.
In Oklahoma, however, sow farms saw death losses among baby pigs at near 100 percent for about three weeks before immunity levels in pregnant sows were established and production returned, generally, to normal levels.
“The bottom line is – newborns and young piglets are more susceptible, though older pigs can get the virus, as well,” Logan says.
Logan cautions swine producers to remain vigilant and take measures to reduce the risks of the disease.
“There is no vaccine for PEDv, so producers need to take biosecurity measures,” he advises. “If anyone is buying pigs, they should question who they are getting them from and make sure they are coming from a clean source.”
He also adds that it is wise to avoid places where swine are concentrated.
The best way to keep PEDv out of swine is by implementing and following good biosecurity measures.
Nationwide, PEDv has greatly impacted the swine industry.
“In the case of hogs, producers and packers are trying to offset the death losses caused by PEDv by keeping hogs on feed a bit longer and adding more pounds to carcasses,” said CME Group in their Jan. 6 report.
They add that the impact of PEDv could also be seen in USDA’s December Hogs and Pigs Report.
PEDv killed an estimated 1.4 million piglets, and it appears to be increasing in U.S. herds, according to the report.
Additionally, the U.S. hog herd breeding inventory fell in the last quarter, says USDA.
The result is expected to impact retail pork prices, adds Agri-Pulse.
“Retail pork prices are already near record highs, averaging $3.78 a pound in November, partly because of high energy costs,” they wrote.
Steiner Consulting Group’s Altin Kalo says the impacts of PEDv haven’t been seen in the market yet, but beginning next summer, prices will start to increase
He predicted that 2014 hog prices will be up almost eight percent in the second quarter, though declines may be seen in the second half of the year.
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at email@example.com.