Temporary safeguard measures to allow for the safe imports of live pigs from the US and Canada have today been endorsed by Member State experts.
Live pigs from these countries entering the EU will be tested for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) in order to protect a thriving European pig industry (22 million tons of pig meat produced each year, 13% of which are exported) from infection.
Emerging PED viruses are circulating in North America affecting pigs and causing major losses particularly to the US pig industry. The USA and Canada are authorised to export live pigs to the EU - 900 pigs with a high genetic value were imported in 2013.
These measures follow discussions held last week during the World Assembly of the World Organization for Animal Health and complement temporary import requirements agreed last month on pig blood products that may be used for feeding piglets. The Commission has also asked the European Food Safety Authority to carry out a scientific opinion on emerging PED viruses that will enable a more thorough review of the disease situation and risk mitigation measures. Member States were also reminded of the need to strengthen biosecurity at farm level.
Friday June 6, 2014/ EC/ European Union.