New research confirms suspicions that Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) can be spread through feed, and now the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has responded.

The study, completed by Pipestone Veterinary Service and South Dakota State University, increases scrutiny on the feed industry as the nation’s PEDv outbreak nears its 17th month. The virus has killed at estimated 8 million pigs since it was first identified in the country last April.  

Researchers found the virus was alive in feed taken from farms that had reported PEDv outbreaks. While there may be a correlation between the spread of the highly-contagious disease and feed, the study did not determine how the feed became infected with PEDv.

Richard Sellers, Senior Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs with AFIA, stressed the need to differentiate between a carrier and the source of the disease.

“It's important to note that being a carrier of the virus does not mean that feed is the source. The prevalence of the disease on an infected farm can contaminate many items,” Sellers said in a news release.

Sellers points that the AFIA and its industry partner, the Institute for Feed Education and Research, are driven to help fund research to control and eradicate PEDv. In May, the groups pledged $100,000 to the National Pork Board this research.   

“There are still many unknowns related to the outbreak of the virus,” He added. “AFIA's goal is to work with industry partners, swine producers, veterinarians and the government to conduct and evaluate research to better understand the cause and transmission routes of PEDV. “

Click here to read the full release.