US: Our pigs are safe–Russia doesn’t believe so, suspends US imports

Newscast Media NEW YORK—US agricultural officials have said that American pork is
“safe to eat” and that trade talks with Russia are ongoing, following Moscow’s
decision to suspend hog imports over virus fears.

Russia said last Thursday that it was suspending hog imports from the US over
concerns about outbreaks of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PED) killing piglets.
The suspension came into effect last Friday.

Abby Yigzaw, a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) spokesperson, told
RIA Novosti that US experts had confirmed the presence of PED in the US last year
but said that it cannot be transferred to humans.

“PED is not a zoonotic disease,” Yigzaw said, referring to conditions that can pass
from animals to humans. “It does not affect people, pets or other animals. Nor is PED
a food safety concern. US pork is safe to eat.”

China and Japan also have restricted imports of live US hogs over the highly
contagious disease that has wiped out some 10 per cent of the US hog population
since it was identified in May last year.

Yigzaw said that “correspondence with our counterparts in Russia” continues and that
the department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is “working closely with
interested trading partners on the presence of PED virus in the US”.

Source: Ria Novosti