Wisconsin Farmers on Alert for Pig Diarrhoea Virus

WISCONSIN, US - The state's pig producers have been warned against transporting infected material to their farms to ward off Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) virus using the 'feedback' method.
calendar icon 16 April 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

Biosecurity is the best method to prevent the spread of PED virus advises Dr Paul McGraw, Wisconsin State Veterinarian.

This advice comes after the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has received information that some swine producers are considering transporting virus-laden material from premises with diseased pigs in an effort to build the immunity of their own pigs against the disease.

Dr McGraw said: “The idea is not only a bad one because it could put other pigs in the state at risk, but knowingly infecting your own animals with a disease may also result in liability and prosecution.” It may also subject the original owner of the infected materials or animals to prosecution under Wisconsin law.

Animal health officials were notified that some swine producers are considering this strategy in an effort to prevent their pigs from getting sick later in the year. Sources say that these producers want to transport infected material from an infected property to their own, which may violate Wisconsin law.

“Intentional infection of a disease free herd is not the answer; heightened biosecurity is still the best strategy for preventing infection,” McGraw added.

The PED virus causes diarrhoea, vomiting and severe dehydration in hogs. Industry analysts estimate one to four million swine have died from PED since being found in the US pig population in 2013. There is currently no approved vaccine for use in Wisconsin.

Transmission can be minimised by swine farmers using proper biosecurity methods, including washing trucks and trailers between loads, washing boots and clothing, and establishing a line of separation between clean and dirty areas.

The National Pork Board has developed a wide variety of biosecurity information that is free.

“The Pork Board has done a great job of outlining the many precautions swine farmers should be taking to minimise their losses by keeping the virus off their farm,” Dr McGraw added.

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