France to ban pigs and byproducts from North America, Japan
Published on May 3, 2014 1:23 AM
PARIS (REUTERS) - France will ban imports of live pigs, pork-based byproducts and pig sperm from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan to protect against a virus that has killed millions of piglets in North America and Asia, a farm ministry official said on Friday.
The ban, which is due to be introduced on Saturday and does not include pork meat for human consumption, aims to ward off Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea Virus (PEDv), which has killed around 7 million young pigs since first identified in the United States almost a year ago.
The disease has reduced hog supplies in the United States and sent retail pork prices to record highs.
"This disease worries us because the economic consequences would be dramatic if it hit our farms, in Europe and notably in France," Jean-Luc Angot, deputy director general and chief veterinary officer at the French farm ministry, told Reuters. "When you see the numbers, there is a reason to be worried. There are few diseases that have such a high mortality rate at such a large scale."
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