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New study suggests feed could be vehicle for livestock viruses

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus entered the U.S. in 2013. The following year, it killed nearly 7 million piglets costing the industry millions of dollars. A new preliminary study shows how the virus may have entered the U.S.

In preliminary findings, a study conducted by Pipestone Applied Research and South Dakota State University shows the potential for viruses to contaminate and survive in feed ingredients.

“The research showed PED could survive a trip from [China] coming over. Initially we thought, there is no way that virus would be able to survive fourteen days on the water along with shipping but it actually can,” Dr. Paul Sundberg, Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center said.

The center looked at a list of 44 viruses identified infectious to pigs.

“I am concerned with these results and also want to point out this is a model. This is not a smoking gun. Also, we don’t know the infectious dose orally for some of these viruses but this research clearly points out the potential for feed or other ingredients imported from other countries to be a pathway for introduction to viruses.”

Further mitigation research has already begun.