China has imposed a temporary restriction on hog imports from the United States, fearing the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus. PED virus, which has as much as a 100 percent mortality rate in piglets, has plagued the U.S. pig industry, with 27 states reporting cases of PED virus.
China, which is the world's largest consumer of pork, issued restrictions on U.S. pig imports, where no more import permits will be issued until the two countries reach an agreement on a protocol for testing animals for PED virus, Tony Clayton, president of the Livestock Exporters Association of the USA told news agencies.
China reportedly purchased about $20 million worth of U.S. breeding hogs in 2013.
China's restrictions on U.S. pork came on the heels of a similar trade restriction from Japan, another of the United States' biggest buyers of pork. Japan has been experiencing its own struggle with PED virus, having lost an estimated 39,000 piglets to PED virus since it was rediscovered in the country in October 2013, according to reports.