Call for Stepped-Up Biosecurity

by 5m Editor
7 February 2012, at 6:24am

CANADA - Outbreaks of swine vesicular disease in Italy have prompted the Canadian Swine Health Board to advise Canadian pork producers to step up their focus on biosecurity, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Swine vesicular disease produces fluid-filled blisters in the mouth and on the snout, feet and teats of recently farrowed sows resembling foot and mouth disease, a reportable disease that immediately halts trade.

Dr Dan Hurnik, the chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board's Long Term Disease Risk Management Committee and a member of the faculty of the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, explains swine vesicular disease flairs up in the Mediterainian region from time to time so the main goal in Canada is to avoid introduction of the virus.

Dr Dan Hurnik-Canadian Swine Health Board

What is a particular threat is that it can survive in meat products for quite an extended period of time so pork that's infected could transmit it and also included some dry cured products which are uncooked salted products like prosciutto and they could carry the virus.

The big threat is that if those uncooked meat products get onto farms or the pigs consume them that's how the virus can spread so the main take home issue for us in Canada is to do two things.

Number one is to help reinforce the fact that meat products must not be brought into the country illegally and that meat products from countries potentially carrying the disease should not enter Canada unless they're inspected and the process is approved.

The second thing is that meat products should not be fed to pigs and in some cases, such as dry cured products, they shouldn't come into the barn for lunches and so on because it just poses the risk of spreading to pigs.

A Canadian Swine Health Board December 2010 Swine Health Awareness Bulletin outlines what to look for and can be accessed through the Canadian Swine Health Board web site at

Further Reading

- Find out more information on swine vesicular disease by clicking here.