The United States National Pork Board is providing some support for a $500,000 project at Alberta Genome to step up research aimed at curbing the continued spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
Since the first outbreak in April, more than five million hogs have died on about 1,400 farms in 26 states across the U.S.
The National Pork Board is also investing another $650,000 to step up its research.
The new project also will align swine, feed and veterinary groups to bring an even higher level of collaboration in the fight against the disease, the board says.
“This has become one of the most serious and devastating diseases our pig farmers have faced in decades,” said Karen Richter, a Minnesota producer and president of the National Pork Board.
Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics and a Pork Checkoff consultant, estimates the loss of more than five million piglets in the past several months, with 1.3 million lost in January alone.
Part of the Checkoff’s supplemental funding of $650,000 will be used for feed-related research to better understand the potential role feed may play in PEDV transmission.
Also, a portion of the funding will be used to identify ways to increase sow immunity and to better understand transmission and biosecurity risks.
This brings the current level of Checkoff-funded research to approximately $1.7 million since June 2013.