(NAFB)--The National Pork Board will invest an additional 350-thousand dollars toward research, education and coordination of efforts to better understand Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus - or PEDV. The funding increase is on top of the 450-thousand dollars announced last month.
NPB Vice President of Science and Technology Dr. Paul Sundberg says the number one priority is to contain spread of the virus with the goal of increasing the potential to eliminate the disease. He notes just-completed research showed that the transportation of sows and market hogs can be a major risk factor in the spread of PEDV. Sundberg says the next step is to assemble a core team of pork producers, veterinarians, packers and processers to refine a specific biosecurity approach. These additional funds for timely research and national coordination - he says - will allow the Pork Board to help pork producers better address the virus - while preparing for other potential emerging disease scenarios.
National Pork Board President Karen Richter says so much has already been learned about PEDV through increased cooperation among state and federal agencies, professional organizations, associations and from the information pork producers have willingly shared. She says the board’s focus on research, education and the sharing of information is exactly where Checkoff funds are needed. Richter says the investment will contribute to a stronger organized effort and industry.
While many questions about PEDV remain unanswered - Sundberg says it’s important to keep in mind PEDV is not a human health issue. He adds enhanced biosecurity measures are extremely important in containing the virus.