Prompted by the quick spread of the virus, Arkansas has made import regulation changes.

“The new rules are an attempt to minimize the likelihood of the virus entering our borders,” says Powell. “Now, any pigs being brought into Arkansas must be inspected by a veterinarian followed by a health certificate. Also, there must be a statement provided by the veterinarian saying that the pigs are traveling from a site that hasn’t had a PEDv case in the last 60 days.”

The state of Arkansas must then be called and an entry permit number must be issued for the health certificate.

“So, the veterinarian has to call the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission and say, ‘I’ve got 100 pigs coming on X date. I need an entry permit number.’

“Those steps will help us better track pigs coming in from other states that may have infected herds. This way we’ll know the address of where the pigs come from, the address of where the pigs are going to in Arkansas and have a better ability to stop any type of outbreak.”

Unlike poultry and cattle, swine production isn’t a huge commercial industry in Arkansas. However, there are some swine operations “and they’re certainly concerned about PEDv.”

One of the concerns with PEDv at this time of year is the beginning of 4-H projects. Children often pick up the piglets outside Arkansas and bring them home.

“This is a concern,” says Powell. “It’s very important everyone understands that the new rules apply to everyone -- commercial producers and 4-H’ers. Any pig being brought into the state is required to go through all the steps.”

To prevent PEDv, biosecurity is key. “People need to disinfect boots, wash their clothes. Anyone that’s been on a farm, attended a swine sale or show needs to be very conscientious about that. A simple step like washing equipment that’s been around off-site pigs is the smart approach.”