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Livestock value chain/ Jamaica - Pig farmers repulsed on pork imports

14 May 2015

The Jamaica Pig Farmers Association (JPFA) has opposed to a call from a few pork processors for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to grant permits for the importation of pork. According to the organization, its concern centers on the bio-security of the local pork industry given the outbreak of virulent porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) in the United States and Canada. The disease is characterized by severe enteritis, vomiting, watery diarrhea, dehydration, and a high mortality rate among swine, thus can devastate local pork industry if it were to be introduced through imports. The causative agent of PED belongs to the family Coronaviridae (2) and contains a single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome. Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) was first identified in the United States in May 2013; the outbreak occurred in 23 US states with 2,692 confirmed cases. As producers in the meat value chain, JPFA urged pork processors to buy from local smallholder farmers who have stocks. The importation permission is a response to the temporary tightness of pork supply on the Jamaican market. JPFA appealed for patience from processors while noting that pig farmers were in the process of retooling their farms and breeding herds to address the shortfall in pig production that has been ongoing since November 2014.



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