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Synopsis

Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this report deals with the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in controlling recent pig diseases, including the Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases (SECD) outbreak.

Pork is consumed more than any other meat worldwide, and there are numerous other products made with ingredients from pigs, including medical products, such as insulin to treat diabetes. The United States is the world's third-largest producer of pork products. USDA estimated that U.S. pork exports in 2014 were valued at over $6 billion. Two lethal, highly contagious diseases in pigs emerged in the United States in 2013 and 2014, causing the deaths of millions of pigs. The two emerging diseases are collectively known as SECD.

GAO was asked to review federal actions to address SECD outbreaks. This report examines (1) the initial response to the SECD outbreaks, (2) USDA's subsequent actions to manage SECD, and (3) steps USDA has taken to improve its future response to emerging animal diseases. GAO analyzed USDA efforts to collect data about the number and location of infected herds; reviewed federal regulations and USDA animal disease response guidance; and interviewed USDA, state, and industry stakeholders involved in the response and control efforts.

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