China slaps 'temporary restrictions' on US pork imports: Report

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China, the world's No. 1 pork consumer, has slapped "temporary restrictions" on imports of US pigs to prevent a deadly virus from spreading to its herd, according to a report by Bloomberg citing the Livestock Exporters Association of the USA.

The news will probably raise concerns among US farmers who are battling the lethal disease, which has crimped hog supplies and sent prices to record highs.

China will not issue more import permits for US pigs until the two countries agree on testing protocol for the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus, or PEDv, Bloomberg reported, citing Mr Tony Clayton, president of the group.

China can resume importing "fairly quickly" as long as "the US agrees to some kind of testing protocol," he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing did not respond to questions, Bloomberg said.

The Livestock Exporters Association of the USA was not immediately available.

So far, the US government has counted more than 4,700 cases in 27 states of PEDv.