USDA refocuses PEDv fight on diagnostic tests

It has been roughly 18 months since the USDA issued mandatory reporting of Swine Enteric Coronavirus diseases (SECD), including Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). Since it was first identified in U.S. herds in April 2013, PEDv has killed as many as 10 million pigs. The worst of the outbreak appears to now be over.

On Monday, the USDA announced it is refocusing efforts to fight the fast-spreading disease.

"While there are now significantly fewer detections of SECD, it remains a concern for the industry. Focusing activities (and funding) on the diagnostic testing that facilitates disease reporting, rather than herd monitoring or management, will help inform decision makers on mitigation strategies that may be applicable in the absence of Federal funding," the federal order stated.

Changes include eliminating a requirement for herd plan and reimbursement for veterinarians who complete those plans. It also eliminates reimbursement for biosecurity activity, including truck washing.

However, reimbursable actions completed prior to Jan. 4 are still eligible for reimbursement.

Though the focus may have shifted, one thing remains clear: SECD is still a reportable disease.

Pork producers, veterinarians and diagnostic laboratories are required to report all cases of SECD to the USDA or state animal health officials.

Click here to read the full announcement.

In England, officials have also focused their efforts to better prepare producers for PEDv and detect the disease early if it is detected in the country's pig herds.

According to FG | Insight, PEDv became a "lightweight notifiable" disease in mid-December. Producers and veterinarians in England are now legally required to inform the government of any suspected cases.

As a "lightweight notifiable" disease, confirmed cases of PEDv do not require statutory movement controls, compulsory slaughter or export bans seen with other notifiable diseases.

Read more from FG | Insight.