CANADA - A veterinary epidemiologist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is encouraging pork producers to step up their vigilance as the risk of spreading porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) increases with the colder weather, writes Bruce Cochrane.
The Canadian pork industry has been particularly successful in containing the spread of PED since it first appeared in Ontario in January of last year.
Dr Julia Keenliside, a Veterinary Epidemiologist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, told those taking part in a PED Telephone Town Hall Meeting hosted by Alberta Pork last week that there has been a recognition of the need to communicate closely and work together to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
Dr Julia Keenliside - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
In western Canada, I would have to say that a lot of us are very pleased that we're not having cases of PED in Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.
Manitoba has had a few more cases. They're up to five now.
Quebec has also seen the virus on the move, with up to 10 cases.
We're entering the highest risk time of the year.
If we can look at previous numbers, certainly from the States and Ontario, that January to March, April tends to be the peak of cases.
For whatever reason, perhaps it's our lack of ability to wash trucks, or the temperatures it makes it easier for this virus to move around.
While we certainly can pat ourselves on our backs for fantastic success so far in keeping this virus out, we certainly can't let down our vigilance at this time of year.
But it's been a job well done I think by everyone.
I think the Americans for sure are just stunned that we don't have this disease yet.
I continue to get people expressing their disbelief over what we've done so far but let's keep it up.
Dr Keenliside says Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C. have recognised that they are really one region when it comes to pig transport and have been communicating closely and working together to keep the risk level as low as possible.
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