To assist research efforts to combat the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus spreading across the U.S., the National Grain and Feed Foundation on Monday announced a $60,000 donation to the National Pork Board.
The virus has infected and killed millions of young pigs on farms of all sizes in 29 states since May 2013, as well as in four Canadian provinces since January 2014, though it does not impact humans.
"The grain and feed industry is committed to supporting research being undertaken through the NPB that will help find ways to combat the establishment and spread of PEDV in the United States," said David Fairfield, vice president of feed services at the National Grain and Feed Association.
The NGFF, founded in 1965, is the NGFA's research and education arm.
"In particular, NGFA and its foundation are pleased to support the NPB's research on several feed-related issues that may be associated with PEDV – results of which we believe will further enhance the industry's knowledge in finding ways to control and eventually eradicate and prevent this disease and the economic damage it is causing to the pork and related industries," Fairfield said.
Paul Sundberg, NPB's vice president of science and technology, said NGFF's donation is a welcome addition to funding coming from industry groups outside of the Pork Checkoff, and will help expand research into the costly disease.
"Given questions about PEDV and feed-related issues, our goal is to find answers as quickly and efficiently as possible," Sundberg said.
The top research priorities for NPB's feed-related research projects are to: investigate the effectiveness and cost of treatments that could be used to mitigate the survival of PEDV and other viruses if present in animal feeds; conduct contamination risk assessments at all steps within the feed processing and delivery chain; develop a substitute for currently used swine bioassay procedures; and continue to investigate the risk of feed systems and other pathways for pathogen entry into the United States.