PED Expected to Become More Difficult to Control

16 September 2013, at 8:06am

CANADA - The chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board warns that, as the weather turns colder and the risk of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) entering Canada increases, adherence to strict biosecurity protocols will become even more critical, writes Bruce Cochrane.

An outbreak of PED, first discovered in the US in mid-May, has now spread to 17 states with over 500 farms confirmed infected.

Monitoring through the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network indicates the disease has not shown up in Canada and biosecurity measures have been heightened to lessen the chance.

Canadian Swine Health Board Chair, Florian Possberg, acknowledges there is no guarantee the disease will not slip into Canada so the focus is on providing as early a warning as possible.

Florian Possberg - Canadian Swine Health Board

The disease is a coronavirus and a similar disease is Transmissible Gastroenteritis.

Typically, that disease is silent during the summer months and tends to be much more prevalent in fall, winter and spring months so now we're moving into that time of the year.

We're not exactly sure how PED is going to react in the cold weather.

We suspect that it will be tougher to deal with.

As well we move into fall months and producers have to get their manure storage cleaned out.

Often liquid manure needs to go onto fields and that sort of thing and birds are moving about.

We have migration going on and all these things so there are different factors and so we are preparing to alert on some of these things that are not really an issue during the heat of the summer in terms of vectors for the movement of the disease.

The biosecurity needs to be even better in the winter months, we fear.

Mr Possberg says PED could cost our industry millions of dollars so the efforts being undertaken to keep it out are really important.

Further Reading

Find out more information on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) by clicking here.