Foster Swift Agricultural Law Update
July 18, 2014
Over 7 million pigs have died from the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) since May 2013. The infected pigs come from farms of all sizes in 30 states and four Canadian Provinces. While the virus doesn’t affect humans or the safety of pork products, it is a matter of great concern to pork producers, herd veterinarians and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In an effort to control the spread of the virus, the USDA issued a federal order requiring pork producers, veterinarians and diagnostic labs to report both presumptive and positive occurrences of the disease. A presumptive case is one where the pigs have no clinical signs of disease but have a positive test result. A pig with both symptoms of the disease and positive test results is a positive case.
The reports must be sent to the state animal health official or to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Assistant Director with offices in the state where the herd resides.
The order doesn’t require herd quarantines or restrictions on the movement of the infected animals.
It does require, however, that pork producers with diseased herds create and use a herd management plan with the help of their herd veterinarian. The plan must address the following:
- Biosecurity of visitors and vehicles entering or exiting the farm,
- Monitoring of employee biosecurity,
- Periodic herd health observation,
- Movement of pigs into and out of the herd,
- Diagnostic testing to monitor the status of the herd’s infection and evaluate the effectiveness of the control strategies, and
- Maintaining records on pig movement that can be given to state or federal health officials when requested.
While the USDA will not pay indemnity for pigs that die as a result of PEDv infection under its livestock disaster programs, it will develop a cost-share plan to partially reimburse affected farms for diagnostic testing, biosecurity activities, developing herd plans and other disease-ordered activities. Information about the cost-share plan should be available in a few weeks.
Herd owners who don’t report suspected or confirmed cases of PEDv or follow their herd management program may have to pay civil fines, have their herd quarantined or animal movements restricted by state or federal animal health officials. Non-reporting vets could have their veterinary accreditation revoked.
The MDARD State Veterinarian also recently added the Novel Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases (SECD), including PEDv and Swine Delta Corona Virus (SDCV) to the reportable animal disease list. In a press release about the requirement, State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill said: “Even though Novel SECDs are not a food safety or public health concern, swine producers, veterinarians, and laboratories are to report to MDARD all positive and suspect cases.”
If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities, please call Liza Moore at 517.371.8281 or Todd Hoppe at 616.726.2246.
- Visit the USDA website regarding PEDv at: (We have identified that the following link is no longer active, and it has been removed.)