GLOBAL - At the risk of boring you to death over Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED), it has been an interesting week for news of this threat – and that other familiar disease, African Swine Fever (ASF).
Starting with positive news, there is as yet no sign of an increase in PED outbreaks in the United States. The number of swine accessions positive for the PED virus now stands at 8,560 – 53 more than the previous week – but the count is moving upwards only slowly. In all, 31 states have reported one or more cases; Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois are the most affected states.
The pig industry in Canada – also affected last winter – is taking every precaution to prevent a recurrence of PED in the coming months. Alberta Pork recently held a teleconference, at which there was a strong emphasis on tightening up biosecurity generally and on the proper management and handling of manure.
The role of feed in the transmission of the PED virus has been contentious since the first outbreaks in Canada. Last month, there appeared to be clear evidence that the virus could be transmitted in feed, while the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) last week announced that pig blood products such as dried plasma are not a likely source of the PED virus.
Of course, it is feasible that both of these statements are correct; dried plasma may be a safe feed ingredient but feed could become contaminated with the PED virus at any point from feed mill to feed trough, which takes us back to the vital importance of effective biosecurity.
A new study in the US shows that an already-approved liquid antimicrobial can reduce the risk of PED infection through contaminated feed.
Turning to news of African Swine Fever, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has joined with two African organisations to develop a regional strategy for the control of African swine fever (ASF) for the continent.
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