Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are urging Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to approve disaster assistance for small pork producers affected by the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). The Senators are asking USDA to use the livestock disaster program, which was permanently extended in the 2014 Farm Bill, to help producers in the 27 states dealing with this deadly disease.
In a letter to the Secretary, the Senators said, “PEDV has killed over 4 million pigs in the United States since April 2013. The virus has a reported mortality rate of nearly 100 percent for piglets under two weeks old. Consequently, pork producers that have been impacted by PEDV face economic devastation, these producers are finally experiencing periods of higher margins after prolonged periods of razor thin profits. If this disease persists, pork herds will continue to diminish and producers risk going out of business.” The Senators are also asking USDA to increase research and efforts to stop the disease.
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