The National Pork Board Wednesday announced it has approved $450,000 in Pork Checkoff dollars to fund research on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, a disease that appeared for the first time in the United States in May.
The funds are in addition to money already pledged by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Together, total funds for research amount to $527,000.
PEDV is a production-related disease that hits young pigs under three weeks of age causing high mortality rates. Older pigs that may get the virus typically recover. PEDV may appear to have similar symptoms as transmissible gastroenteritis virus with acute diarrhea.
The disease poses no threat to human health, and is not a reportable disease, though it is a big concern for producers looking to control the spread in their own herds.
"The National Pork Board took this action to help get answers to U.S. producers as quickly as possible to help protect their herds from this devastating disease," said Conley Nelson, National Pork Board president. "Because of the investment producers make as part of Checkoff, we're able to respond quickly to sudden disease threats such as this."
The objectives of the Pork Board's swine health committee, which will oversee the PEDV research, will be to get real answers about the spread and transmission of the disease, along with measures to detect, diagnose, prevent and control it.
To help facilitate this, Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Pork Checkoff's vice president of science and technology, said that the committee and Pork Checkoff's science and technology team will work closely with key industry partners, such as the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the National Pork Producers Council and state pork associations.
"As with all of our research, we want it to be transparent and objective," Nelson said. "And in this case, it must be very specific with quick turnaround times so that we can get answers quickly."
Read more on NPB action regarding PEDV: Profits, Exports, Herd Health, Demand: Hot Topics at Pork Expo and Strategies to Control Outbreaks of Foreign Animal Diseases.