Charleston W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is mandating all imported commercial swine arriving in West Virginia related to COVID-19 be processed upon entry into the state. Currently, the WVDA is waiving Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) for imported swine if they are immediately processed and do no re-enter commerce.
“When fellow citizens need our help, West Virginians are the first to respond. As we look to help other states’ farmers, we must ensure our own production is not affected. That is why we are asking swine, which requires a CVI waiver, to be processed upon arrival to West Virginia to avoid the spread of potential diseases,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
Commissioner Leonhardt decided to waive CVIs and other routine movement requirements to alleviate some of the backlog supply of commercial swine from other states. The WVDA is allowing these swine to move into West Virginia and be processed for consumption. Although, the WVDA is encouraging folks to follow biosecurity protocols as swine has the potential to transmit Swine Influenza Virus (SIV).
Poultry, especially turkey, are susceptible to SIV which causes a severe drop in egg production. West Virginia is the home to a diverse poultry industry including breeding and meat birds to supply genetics and protein. Commercial poultry is the state’s largest agricultural segment grossing around $400 million a year.
“Although there have been no reports of sick hogs coming into West Virginia, the WVDA is working with WVU Extension Service to educate brokers who wish to import swine. We must protect our food systems, especially local production, as we see stresses related to COVID-19,” Leonhardt said. “Imported swine should go directly to processing and not change hands multiple times. Any signs of illness should immediately be reported to WVDA Animal Health personnel.
For questions or more information, contact the WVDA Animal Health Division at 304-558-2214.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture protects plant, animal and human health through a variety of scientific, regulatory and consumer protection programs. The Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six statewide elected officials who sits on the Board of Public Works.