Strict Biosecurity Gives Canadian Pork Producers Edge in Addressing PED

CANADA - The manager of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network says strict adherence to biosecurity protocols has given Canada an edge in dealing with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED), writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 20 March 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

In Canada, PED remains centred in Ontario, one infected barn in Quebec is being disinfected, the virus is under control in Manitoba and one infected herd in Price Edward Island remains the Maritimes' sole problem.

Dr Chris Byra, the manager of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network, says, even in Ontario where 33 cases have been listed, only about five percent of the sow herd has been affected.

Dr Chris Byra - Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network

The US currently, it's estimated that two and a half million sows are PED-positive, which would be not quite half the American sow herd so we're in much better shape knowing that we're going through the worst time and not having case numbers build up exponentially as they have in the states.

Now the reasons for that, I think, go back to the biosecurity training that we had of all producers in Canada here through the Swine Health Board a couple of years ago and the ability to reinstate that, brush up on it, make sure that compliance is occurring and applying it to processing plants, assembly yards, truck washes, the vehicle companies themselves, the renderers, the ability to apply all those same principles and actions to those organizations have given us a real opportunity.

The second part of course is we had eight months to watch what happened in the US and get plans in order.

The various provincial governments along with the pork boards developed strategies to deal with PED and how to prevent it first-off and secondly, how to deal with it if it did occur.

Dr Byra says the suspicion in Ontario is that the more recent cases are the result of biosecurity breaks in transport.

He says having more of the virus in the environment adds to everyone's risk but, in Canada, the curve has been dropping compared to the US, where up to 300 new cases per week were being reported.

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