France announced Friday that it was banning all imports of live pigs from the U.S., Japan, Mexico, and Canada in an attempt to avoid an epidemic that has killed millions of pigs and caused an increase in pork prices.
According to The Local, the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus has been killing pigs across the U.S., and there is no reliable vaccine to protect against it. In order to keep the virus from entering France and killing off millions of French pigs, the French ministry of agriculture said it would be banning imports of pigs from those countries. It is the first European country to do so since the virus became a problem.
"Imports of live pigs, semen and all products containing pork for animal feed coming from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan have been suspended pending a European decision," the French agriculture ministry announced Friday.
Any animal feed containing pork products is also affected by the ban, though pork intended for human consumption is still perfectly acceptable because the virus cannot be transmitted to humans.
The exact number of pigs imported from the affected countries is confidential, but The Local reports that fewer than 10 live pigs have been imported to France from the U.S. since January, and only two were brought in from Canada.