New Biosecurity Plan Aims to Keep PED out of British Columbia

BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - A C$613,050 investment by the Governments of British Columbia and Canada is resulting in increased surveillance and preventative measures to stop livestock diseases from spreading to the province.
calendar icon 19 May 2014
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The funding provided to British Columbia Pork Producers Association results in immediate action to reduce the risk of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) arriving in British Columbia (B.C.), and prepare measures to rapidly respond and contain the disease if it should ever enter the province.

The immediate action includes:

  • Implementation of enhanced biosecurity efforts at the two facilities that handle pigs from within and from outside B.C., including livestock transport trucks and driver sanitation measures.
  • Two pork processing facilities and 21 pork producing farms will be supported in developing response and containment plans to ensure rapid action should PED be found. In addition, enhanced auditing and application of national standards for on-farm biosecurity will be supported.
  • The industry will cost-share any activities that include the purchase of equipment and/or costs for infrastructure associated to enhancing biosecurity.

PED is an extremely infectious and economically devastating pig disease that is new to Canada. The disease can be transmitted through animal feces among vehicles or equipment, and though harmless to people, results in a very high mortality in young piglets. To date, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea has not been found in B.C.

Testing for PED is conducted at the Ministry of Agriculture's Animal Health Centre. The Centre receives more than 5,000 animal samples of all varieties for diagnosis annually and is one of only three Canadian labs accredited as a Veterinary Diagnostic laboratory by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

Last month the Province introduced a new Animal Health Act, updating near 70-year-old legislation, aimed at limiting the spread of current and emerging diseases, like PED, and better responding to potentially disastrous outbreaks.

The funding announced today is from the five-year Growing Forward 2 agreement, a C$3-billion federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development.

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