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France suspends imports of pigs from Canada, U.S., Mexico and Japan over virus

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PARIS - French authorities have suspended imports of live pigs and certain pig products from Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Japan to prevent a deadly virus from contaminating its food chain.

The Agriculture Ministry said Friday that no cases of the virus, known as porcine epidemic diarrhea, have been recorded in France since this epidemic broke out.

The virus has killed millions of pigs in the U.S. over the past year, driving up pork and bacon prices. It causes severe diarrhea in newborn piglets, which then die from dehydration.

The French ministry says the ban will enter into effect Saturday pending a larger Europe-wide decision on pig imports. The ban does not apply to all pork products.

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