Japanese pork producers are experiencing significant losses due to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus. According to a Bloomberg news report by Aya Takada, “Japan has discovered 1.17 million cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea on 805 farms across 38 prefectures since it confirmed the latest outbreak in October. As many as 343,070 piglets have died, a record number of fatalities from the disease,” stated Yukitake Okamura at the ministry’s animal health division.
A Nishi Nippon news report said the Miyazaki Prefecture confirmed the occurrence of PEDv on July 24, putting the total number of cases at 81 in that prefecture. Miyazaki is the second largest pork-producing prefecture in Japan, with almost 9 percent of production. Kagoshima is the largest at 14 percent.
Japanese official say it’s likely the country will increase imports from Europe and Mexico as domestic pork prices escalate. The country imported 1.24 million metric tons (MMT) of pork last year, and as of the end of May 2014, it had purchased 331,203 MMT, an increase of 7.7 percent year-over-year.
Pork industry experts in Japan as just as baffled as those in the United States regarding how the disease entered the country and how it is transmitted from farm to farm.