Colorado Encourages Biosecurity Practices to Prevent PED

US - The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division has been working closely with swine producers, and organizations to encourage appropriate biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of an emerging, deadly livestock disease: porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV).
calendar icon 4 April 2014
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PEDV only infects pigs and poses no threat to humans. The main form of transmission is typical oral contact with contaminated feces which can include exposure to other pigs or indirect contact through trucks, boots, or clothing. So far, according to the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 27 states have confirmed cases of PEDV; Colorado has had 254 positive tests since November 2013.

Personnel with the State Veterinarian’s office met with approximately 60 Extension agents, pork producers, and swine show organizers to discuss biosecurity measures for county fairs and shows as it relates to PEDV. Biosecurity measures are those precautionary steps taken to reduce the potential for exposure of susceptible livestock to contagious microbial agents.

“The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus is of major concern to Colorado pork producers and the agricultural community; disease prevention is at the core of animal health and is important for mitigating diseases,” said State Veterinarian, Dr Keith Roehr. “Basic biosecurity is vital to keeping animals and livestock herds healthy.”

CDA’s Animal Health Division recommends the following for swine fairs, shows, and exhibitors for optimal disease prevention:

  • Implement a “terminal-show” policy for all county fairs meaning that after the show or fair, pigs do not go back home or to other exhibitions
  • Discontinue swine breeding shows; if that is not possible, conduct breeding shows prior to market swine shows with appropriate cleaning and disinfecting afterwards
  • Discontinue co-mingling of swine for weigh-in or tag-in events or if you continue to tag-in at a central location, do not unload pigs and only allow owners to tag pigs in the trailer with appropriate biosecurity measures in place
  • If jackpots or swine exhibitions are allowed at the county fairgrounds prior to the county fair; implement a strict cleaning and disinfection protocol at the conclusion of the event and communicate your expectations for appropriate biosecurity
  • Update animal health requirements in the fair’s premium book to communicate importance of biosecurity
  • Reinforce biosecurity principles to 4-H and FFA members through clubs and classroom; demonstrate disease prevention through the county fair venue
  • Ramp up biosecurity for fairs and shows to promote animal health and help prevent disease
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