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State Veterinarian Assisting USDA in PEDv Response Measures
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/30/2014

Wisconsin's state veterinarian is working with a small group of colleagues from across the country in assisting the U.S. Department of Agriculture on ways to confront the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus. Dr. Paul McGraw will be among those reviewing the specifics of the program, which may include the development of herd management plans and funding for surveillance along with required reporting.

"Dr. McGraw has owned and raised pigs himself, so his personal experience and professional expertise combined will be valuable to the USDA as they implement the new federal reporting order," said State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel. "Dr. McGraw has also taken a proactive approach in trying to control the disease in Wisconsin by educating pork producers in our state on how they can enhance biosecurity efforts and protect their herds."

Wisconsin has had 14 positive premises effected with PEDv. The virus has already killed more than six million young pigs since first being identified in the United States a year ago.

The proposed USDA program has an initial start-up budget of $5 million. The swine industry has already developed informational materials and tools to help producers control the disease and to minimize its spread.

"We have all been working together since the disease was first found in the U.S., so this working group simply formalizes and broadens our ability to deal with this virus," McGraw says. "The development and implementation of working group recommendations will take time, so producers should continue to practice effective biosecurity as a precautionary measure."

The virus causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration, and is transmitted orally and through pig feces. While older pigs have a chance of survival, the virus kills 80 to 100 percent of piglets that contract it.

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