PED Outbreak Exposes Biosecurity Weaknesses

CANADA - The National Pork Board says Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) has exposed areas which the US pork industry needs to better understand and pay closer attention to better protect pigs from disease, Bruce Cochrane writes.
calendar icon 13 December 2013
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As expected, with the onset of colder winter weather the spread of a Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea outbreak in the United States has accelerated.

Dr Paul Sundberg, the vice president science and technology with the National Pork Board, observes the outbreak has exposed vulnerabilities in our pork production systems that enable pathogens to move.

Dr Paul Sundberg - National Pork Board

While PED is something that no one wanted to get and no one wants now and we're working as hard as we can with the support of the National Pork Board and all of our resources, with the National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians we're working as hard as we can to help contain the virus.

I'm confident that the lessons we're learning about biosecurity with PED, about application of manure, for example application of manure on land and how to do that in a biosecure manner, the lessons we've learned about transmission opportunities at points of sale, in packing plants and others are going to help us harden our systems for our preparation for foreign animal diseases and other emerging diseases that come.

Its hard to have a wake up call but what PED has done has exposed a number of things that we need to pay attention to, we need to harden in our industry, we need to understand better not just for PED but also for further preparation to ensure that we can do everything we can do for swine health.

Dr Sundberg says efforts to contain the virus have been variable proving highly effective in some instances while in others there have been infections that we still don't know where they came from even in some high biosecurity herds.

He acknowledges we don't yet understand everything we need to understand about how to heighten all the things necessary to prevent infection.

Further Reading

Find out more information on PED by clicking here.

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