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France suspends live pig imports from North America and Japan over deadly virus

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea has killed millions of pigs in the US, driving up pork prices.
May 3rd 2014, 1:45 PM 7,767 10

FRENCH AUTHORITIES HAVE suspended imports of live pigs and certain pig products from North America and Japan to prevent a deadly virus from contaminating the food chain here.

The Agriculture Ministry said that no cases of the virus, known as porcine epidemic diarrhoea, have been recorded in France since this epidemic broke out.

What the virus does

The virus causes severe diarrhoea in newborn piglets, which then die from dehydration.

The French ministry says the ban will enter into effect today, pending a larger Europe-wide decision on pig imports. The ban does not apply to all pork products.

The BBC reports that the virus has been found in Canada, Mexico and Japan. It says that the disease is believed to have its origins in China.

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The National Geographic points out that the virus has killed millions of American pigs, and in doing so has pushed up pork prices in the country.

The virus is “unlikely” to pose a threat to humans, it reports.

 - Additional reporting Associated Press

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Aoife Barry

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