On May 2, France announced that it had suspended imports of live pigs, semen and pork sub-products (such as pork-based animal feed) from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan due to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). French veterinary officials emphasized, however, that the ban would not affect imports of pork meat.
A few days later, France put this decision on hold until the European Union could consider similar action, which took place at a May 6 meeting of the European Commission. At that time, EU officials declined to impose a ban on imports of live pigs, but did agree to new rules for the treatment of imported pig blood used in animal feed. Blood products imported into the EU for use in pig feed must now be heat-treated, followed by storage for six weeks at room temperature. The EU has also scheduled these issues for an expert committee review in early June.
Uzbekistan is the only trading partner to suspend imports of U.S. pork meat (effective Jan. 24) due to PEDV. Costa Rica has suspended imports of pork casings from the United States, but not imports of U.S. pork meat or other offal items.