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Mexico Halts Imports of U.S. Hogs Infected with Gastrointestinal Illness


A major outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED infecting piglets in the U.S. has caused Mexico to ban the import of hogs coming from the states until the issue is resolved.

According to Food Safety News, " This will mean more restrictions and more inspections of U.S. hogs entering Mexico; clearing the border will only occur on a case-by case basis."

PED is similar to gastroenteritis, and a fairly common occurrence in pig populations. It's currently been traced to 13 states, first noted by the USDA's National Veterinary Service Laboratories in May. “Since PEDV is widespread in many countries, it is not a trade-restricting disease, but rather a production-related disease,” according to a National Pork Board statement.

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Despite the illness's frequency in pigs, Mexican officials have asked for more information about the outbreak and specific details about what measures the U.S. is taking to prevent the disease from spreading. Food Safety News reports Mexico wants assurances that actions will ensure the safety of hog exports. "PED is not a reportable disease under the rules of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). It is typically spread by animal-to-animal contact or by contaminated equipment they come into contact with."

The actions being taken by Mexico include:

  • Asking USDA for its risk mitigation strategies.
  • Increasing epidemiological surveillance of hog farms to spot any spike in pig mortality.
  • Keeping hogs imported prior to May 17 under quarantine.
  • Inspecting locations where hogs were brought into Mexico during the last three months.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: ynskjen

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