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Canada Hog Market

15 August 2014
Genesus - The first power in genetics

CANADA - On 16 July, 2014 South West Vets (the preeminent and largest all swine practice in Ontario) hosted a Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Summit in Stratford, Ontario with some 250+ producers and industry in attendance, an impressive turnout for an industry of only some 300,000 sows. They stated the following as their goal on PEDv, writes Bob Fraser – Sales & Service, Genesus Ontario.

South West Vision:

  • Eliminate or control/contain all sow herds – November 2014
  • Eliminate from all primary N/F by – November 2014
  • Eliminate from all secondary N/F sites – November 2014 (spring 2015)
  • OSHAB PED/PRRS ARC&E success?– Regional collaboration reduces neighbourhood risk – Sharing best practices for elimination and control
  • Packer and transport pig status communication – Minimise new cases through transport risk

So what makes Canada so smart (or dumb)?

Ontario PED Cases:

  • 62 Primary Cases – 28 Sow Sites
  • Farrow to Finish: 20
  • Farrow to Feeder: One
  • Farrow to Wean: Severn – 34 N/F Sites
  • Nursery: Four
  • Wean to Finish: Two
  • Finish: 28
  • Unknown number of secondary sites

Only five new cases since 30 April. Also this has been primarily an Ontario issue with to my knowledge one case in PEI, one case in Quebec and two cases in Manitoba. However significant surveillance is being conducted in Quebec, Manitoba & Alberta.


  • Cumulative cases reported to date 7,522
  • This is just what is reported to the National Laboratories.
  • Finisher sites reporting?
  • ≈ 60 -75 per cent of US sow inventory infected.

Even considering that the US industry is approximately five times as large as the Canadian industry this has been a far more prevalent disease state side. Unknown how much of the Ontario sow is infected but wouldn’t be anything close to the case of the US herd.

Other considerations: US vs Canada

  • PED- contaminated infrastructure
  • Finisher sites
  • Large systems continuing to use porcine plasma products.

This last fact has been the source of huge debate in Canada, particularly Ontario. I’m not qualified to comment but a common denominator in an extremely high percentage of the early cases of PED in sow herds in Canada was blood plasma in nursery feed of one feed company. This has resulted in a widespread move by the industry away from such products.

Main point is the Ontario veterinary community believes herd elimination is possible and have demonstrated it in numerous cases to date and continue to refine their techniques and from this believe regional elimination for Ontario is possible as well.

So we shall see but I believe bodes well for an industry that bit by bit are coming to see that cooperation and transparency at least when it comes to disease has considerable merit not only for an industry but for individual producers as a whole.

It has been suggested that PEDV is a “neighbourhood disease”. Therefore it makes great sense for neighbours to work together to get rid of it. I would urge all producers in Ontario to get behind this project. Arguably PEDv has been a contributor to margins we couldn’t even dream of but only one contributor along with smallest cattle herd in living memory, strong export markets and amazingly strong domestic demand.

I’m sure every producer that has wrestled with the disease would say this is one you’re better without. 

Although prices have slackened in the last number of weeks they really have only moved from “beyond our wildest dreams to just our wildest dreams”, as a look at the OMAFRA Weekly Hog Market Facts compiled by John Bancroft, Market Strategies Program Lead, Stratford OMAFRA clearly demonstrates.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

To find out more about Genesus Genetics, please take the time to visit their website at .

Top image via Shutterstock

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