Iowa Congressman Steve King is raising concerns about the U.S.D.A.’s plans for the mandatory reporting of a virus that’s striking hog herds called PEDV, or porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. King, a Republican, says he’s not sure the federal reporting program will achieve the desired results or that all producers will comply.
King says, “The regulation has been brought down and to the extent that we can work with our state veterinarian and our vets within the state and to the extent that they can sell this to our producers is the extent it’s going to be effective.”
Producers have supported reporting and control programs for other diseases, like psuedorabies, and the end result was eradication of the disease, so King remains hopeful. He says another concern is the possibility producer confidentiality will be breached and the information collected by the U.S.D.A. could be used against the pork industry.
“I’m also concerned about the federal records that might be compiled by this order,” King says, “and do we have protection for our producers or are we going to see animal rights people come in here and capitalize on this particular disease.”
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is talking about the need for heightened border security, which King says may hint that the agency believes that’s how PEDV was introduced into the U.S. King spoke at the World Pork Expo this week in Des Moines.
(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)