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Canadian Pork Industry Prepared to Deal with Disease Threat

10 February 2014, at 4:36am

CANADA - A veterinarian with the Office of Manitoba's Chief Veterinarian says tools developed over the past few years have helped prepare the Canadian swine industry to deal with new disease threats, such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED), writes Bruce Cochrane.

Since May, PED has spread to 23 states affecting an estimated 20 to 30 per cent of the US sow herd and the virus has been confirmed in eight swine operations in Ontario over the past two weeks.

Dr Glen Duizer, a veterinarian with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development's Office of the Chief Veterinarian, says provincial governments and pork boards have coordinated activity around planning surveillance and response and if PED does come in will be able to assist in biocontainment, elimination and tracking of pigs that may have come into contact with the virus.

Dr Glen Duizer - Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

I may be fairly optimistic on this but I think we had a framework through a lot of work that my department has done with Manitoba Pork Council, that type of connection and planning that we've done certainly within the province.

On a national scale we see that the Canadian Pork Council with funding through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada set up the Canadian Swine Health Board and sections from that such as the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network, they were in place before this has come so we've certainly got some building blocks in place.

The last thing I would add about that, over the last three years we've really seen the swine industry ramp up biosecurity.

Is it enough, we don't know.

This is going to be the challenge.

This virus could very see how well we've done but certainly we've seen a lot of programmes and a lot of implementation of the National Biosecurity Standard right down at the farm level.

Dr Duizer says the main risk of spread of PED to western Canada is transport vehicles returning from the US.

He encourages producers to work with their veterinarian to identify any gaps in biosecurity, monitor pigs closely for signs of diarrhoea and quickly report anything suspicious.

Further Reading

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

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