China imposes temporary ban on U.S. live pig imports

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – China has placed “temporary restrictions” on U.S. pig imports in an effort to prevent the spread of a fatal swine virus to its herds, according to livestock-industry officials and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The world’s biggest pork consumer has requested the USDA to conduct tests and certify that live hogs are not infected of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, according to a spokesman for the agency. Almost 30 U.S. states have reported cases of the disease that killed many young pigs since it was confirmed it was in the country last spring.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service assured that it is willing and capable to comply with new Chinese requirements for testing and certification. At the same time, the agency is also working with Chinese officials to remove the requirement.

Several American livestock exporters said Friday that their permits to ship live hogs from the U.S. were denied by China until certain testing and certification procedures were implemented by the USDA.

The temporary ban was a common precaution and is unlikely to have a lasting effect on the trade of pork between the two economies. In 2013, China imported around 17,000 live, according to industry data.

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