BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Commission recently approved new rules aimed at limiting the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv).

All pig blood products imported to the EU for use in hog feed must be treated with heat at 80 degrees Celsius and then stored for six weeks at room temperature to kill any virus that may be present. The commission stopped short of an outright ban on pig blood products. News reports state the EU imports roughly 2.2 million tonnes of pig blood from the United States annually.

In February, a Cambridge, Ontario-based supplier of animal nutrition products voluntarily recalled some of its swine feed products after several of its customers were affected by PEDv. The feed contained swine plasma that originated in the US, and tests later confirmed the presence of PEDv in samples of plasma obtained by a third-party manufacturer. However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency could not confirm a link between feed containing plasma and PEDv cases in Canada.

The National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) reported that at least 29 states have reported at least one confirmed case of PEDv. A recent Rabobank report stated that if the virus continues to spread, the shortfall to US hog slaughter could be as much as 15 million hogs in 2014. In April, the US Department of Agriculture classified PEDv as a reportable disease.