Limited Cull Eases Overcrowding at Quarantined Farm

CANADA - A limited cull of animals has eased overcrowding conditions at a quarantined central Alberta pig farm where 2009 Influenza A H1N1 virus was found to have infected a herd of 2,200 animals on 28 April.
calendar icon 12 May 2009
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This was not a disease-ordered cull. This decision was made as a result of joint discussions between the producer, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and federal and provincial animal health officials as the best course of action for the welfare of the herd.

A humane depopulation of close to 500 animals took place under direction of provincial veterinarians. The entire herd remains under quarantine. As a result, the producer is unable to ship hogs to market and his farrow-to-finish operation has reached maximum capacity.

“We support this decision as a responsible animal welfare measure,“ said Dr. Gerald Hauer, Alberta’s chief provincial veterinarian. “This is not a human health issue. It addresses the inevitability of overcrowding while this farm remains under quarantine.“

The pigs were market-ready animals that cannot be shipped. The cull included healthy and recovered animals as well as pigs with flu symptoms.

The culled pigs will not enter the food chain. They will be safely disposed of after they have gone through the rendering process.

The infected herd will be released from quarantine once veterinarians have determined that the H1N1 virus has run its course and all animals are healthy.

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