CANADA - An Alberta based swine veterinarian is advising Canadian swine producers and transporters to remain aware of the heightened risk of exposure to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea and take the necessary steps to ensure the virus does not spread to Canadian farms.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has ended a program which had allowed swine transport vehicles retuning to Canada from US farms to be washed and disinfected at Canadian wash facilities and as of May 2 is requiring those transports to be washed at US facilities before returning to Canada.
Dr Egan Brockhoff, with Prairie Swine Health Services in Red Deer, says the change heightens the risk of contamination.
Dr Egan Brockhoff-Prairie Swine Health Services:
The primary concern here is exposure to PED virus, exposure to PRRS virus, exposure to viruses that we very much want to avoid here in the western Canadian pork industry.
We're very fortunate.
Western Canada is an area free of PED virus and the US Midwest where we send most of our livestock transports is heavily contaminated with PED virus.
Taking a Canadian transport to a US truck wash certainly poses a significant risk of exposing that otherwise clean trailer to a lot of virus that we don't want to bring back.
I think it's very important for pork producers to take the proper precautions.
PED causes 100 per cent mortality in piglet populations.
It's a devastating virus and we certainly want to do everything we can to keep this virus off of our sites.
Dr Brockhoff says the pork industry has notified all of the transporters that going to US truck washes does pose a disease risk for the western Canadian swine herd.
He says they are being advised to test trailers to make sure they are PED negative and, once they return to Canada, to wash and disinfect again to ensure we're not exposing our herd to this virus.
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