Europe Tightens Import Rules for Feed Products

The European Commission recently approved new rules aimed at limiting the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which has killed about seven million piglets in the United States (US) over the past year. The virus has also been detected in Canadian pigs this year.

All pig blood products imported into the European Union (EU) for use in pig feed must be treated with heat at 80 degrees Celsius and then stored for six weeks at room temperature to kill any virus that may be present. The commission stopped short of an outright ban on pig blood products. News reports state the EU imports roughly 2.2 million tons of pig blood from the United States annually.

However, France did ban imports of live pigs, pig by-products, and pig sperm from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Japan, although France is not a significant importer of live pigs and sperm but does import some feed containing porcine by-products.

In February, a Cambridge, ON, Canada-based supplier of animal nutrition products voluntarily recalled some of its swine feed products after several of its customers were affected by PEDV. The feed contained swine plasma that originated in the United States, and tests later confirmed the presence of PEDV in samples of plasma obtained by a third-party manufacturer. However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency could not confirm a link between feed containing plasma and PEDV cases in Canada.

The National Animal Health Laboratory Network acknowledged that at least 29 US states have reported at least one confirmed case of PEDV. A recent Rabobank report noted that if the virus continues to spread, the shortfall to US hog slaughter could be as much as 15 million hogs in 2014. In April, the US Department of Agriculture classified PEDV as a reportable disease. The virus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and is fatal only to young pigs. It poses no threat to human health.

June 2014 RENDER | back