PARIS May 20 A deadly pig virus that has
decimated herds in the United States and sent prices rocketing
is likely to subside before the end of this year as the causes
are being identified, the head of the World Organisation for
Animal Health (OIE) said.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) has wiped out more
than 10 percent of the U.S. pig population and forecasters have
said losses from PEDv in the world's biggest pork exporter could
cut production by as much as 7 percent in 2014.
"I'm confident. Like in all other diseases we know how to
stop them once we have identified the causes properly," OIE
Director General Bernard Vallat told Reuters.
He said the spread of the virus was likely mainly due to a
lack of hygienic precautions, notably disinfecting trucks
entering and leaving farms, but was also potentially linked to
Vallat expected the disease to stabilise in the United
States after a first wave mainly hit so-called "naive" herds
which had not been previously exposed to the virus and had not
"I expect it to subside before the end of the year," he
The European Union approved new rules this month aimed at
limiting the spread of the virus, notably for pig blood products
imported into the 28-member bloc, highlighting the risk of
animal feed products as a potential transmission agent.
"There are high suspicions about these blood products which
have been incorporated in feed and this is why Europe took it
into account in its precaution measures," Vallat said.
Pig blood products are dehydrated and mixed with grain into
feed, which is then given to piglets, he said, but added he was
surprised the dehydration process did not kill the virus.
PEDv, among other diseases, will be discussed at the
178-member OIE's general session in Paris on May 25-30.
Vallat expected representatives from the United States and
other PEDv-infected countries such as Canada, Japan, Mexico to
bring information on the spread of the disease.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; editing by Susan Thomas)