Wednesday, 2 April 2014

American pig genetics banned from the UK and Europe

Last week, almost unnoticed, probably because nobody wanted to make too much of it, there was a massive development in animal health worldwide:

One of North America's most important pig genetics companies put a temporary stop on all live exports, presumably including semen and embryos, from North America to Europe, including Britain.

Lack of tests meant they could not guarantee that their exports would be PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) clean and they, very sensibly, decided to take a cautious and precautionary approach.

The new North American strain of PEDv is devastating pig herds in the USA and Canada.

It is hard to argue with their common sense and prudence. That they behave well, very quietly, is a reflection on the aura of secrecy and coercion common in the pig genetics industry.

However, it is not a statuary ban, merely the act of one single company, giving a temporary advantage to their competitors, who presumably continue to trade freely and risk introducing a serious disease to Europe or indeed to North America and elsewhere.

We live in a veterinary world where the most reckless dangerous veterinarians and their backers take the financial rewards.

Veterinarians are moving germplasm, that is live animals, semen and embryos, all over the place with recklessly issued health certification.

The world went a stage too far when they incorporated germplasm into free trade agreements. The assumption was that the international veterinary industry could control the risks and issue reliable
documentation. They said they could.

They could not.

They covered up the inadequacy of the controls by a barrage of grotesque fabrications and misleading public relations coupled with collusion with the veterinary civil service in the UK and elsewhere.

The co-infections from constant new virus importations require more and more antibiotics, with an ever rising antibiotic resistance taking its toll on the world's children, vulnerable and elderly.

So we continue the deception and now have to rely on voluntary bans.

Too little, too late, however well intentioned!

Voluntary bans may well work for PEDv - if the ban is widespread, obeyed and reliable - until the next mutated virus attacks across borders and moves from farm to farm, from species to species and
sometimes from animals to humans.

This is the scandal of the century.