U.S. Hog Industry Expects Supply Cuts Due to PEDv
February 21, 2014
As the U.S. hog industry struggles to contain a virus killing million of pigs across the country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture warned that the impact on the hog supply would be greater than expected. Montana and Idaho became the latest in 25 U.S. states and 3 Canadian provinces to report confirmed cases of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv. That brings the total confirmed cases in the U.S. to 3,528, up from 2,962 as of Feb. 1, according to data released Wednesday by USDA's National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).
Some U.S. meat companies have said that the virus is driving up hog prices and cutting the pork supply by 2 to 4 percent. In the United States, the world's largest pork exporter with a 65.9 million head hog herd, retail pork prices still hover near record highs, and losses due to the virus are expected to keep boosting hog futures prices.
Analysts and traders have estimated up to 4 million pigs died from the virus, but the hog industry does not have an official death toll. The virus is reported voluntarily, so it could affect more states than has been documented, said Tom Burkgren, executive director at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
PEDv causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in pigs. Research by the U.S. hog industry determined it is spread orally through infected pig manure, and can be carried by trucks, boots, clothes and water.
But feed containing porcine by-products, including but not limited to plasma, recently came into focus as a means of transmission.