Spencer, IA: (May 01, 2014) – The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDv) virus, that has now killed as many as seven million piglets, was front and center at a livestock subcommittee hearing in Washington this week.
National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Dr. Howard Hill said hog prices could rise by 15 to 25 percent and consumer prices could rise 10 to 12 percent as a result of the virus.
There is no food safety concern with PEDv, and Dr. Hill said consumer demand does not appear to be slipping in response to rising pork prices. Because of that, he says the industry is poised for a strong year financially.
Pork industry economists estimate that pork production could fall six to eight percent in the third quarter due to PEDv. Hill told lawmakers that, when combined with lower costs of production, pork producers could see “their best year ever.”
Hill told lawmakers that NPPC wants Congress to probe how two strains of PEDv entered the U.S. and to devote significant resources to controlling and finding a vaccine to prevent the disease.
PEDv was first detected in the United States a year ago. More than 4000 outbreaks have been seen in at least 30 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces and several areas in Mexico.
Hill testified that, for pork producers who experienced PEDv in their herds, the better financial prospects come at a cost.