CHICAGO Aug 1 China on Friday ended a
four-month ban on imports of live U.S. pigs after the U.S.
Department of Agriculture established protocols to test animals
for deadly swine diseases, the USDA said.
China, the world's No. 1 pork consumer, and Japan in April
became the first countries to notify the United States that they
would suspend live pig imports over concerns about the spread of
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv. The disease has killed
up to 8 million U.S. piglets since it was first discovered in
the country last year.
Japan resumed imports on July 11, according to the USDA.
"The USA is back in the pig business for both countries,"
Tony Clayton, president of the Livestock Exporters Association
of the USA, told Reuters in an email.
The protocols for testing come as the USDA is fighting to
calm fears about PEDv among importers after the fast-spreading
disease hurt trade more than officials had expected.
As of Friday, China requires that pigs exported from the
United States test negative for PEDv and a similar swine virus,
Porcine Delta Coronavirus, according to the USDA. Japan requires
a negative test for PEDv and "certification statements" saying
the pigs came from farms that were free of PEDv for at least a
"Before this, shipments were suspended," a USDA spokeswoman
said. "Now, China and Japan are allowing the resumption of
Restrictions had applied to shipments of live U.S. animals
used to develop genetic breeding programs. In 2013, China
imported about $17 million worth of U.S. breeding pigs and Japan
imported about $272,000 worth, according to the USDA.
(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)