Increased Biosecurity Vital for Containing PED in Cold Weather

12 September 2014, at 8:34am

CANADA - The technical veterinarian with Ontario Pork says a stepped up focus on biosecurity will be key to containing the spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea as the weather turns colder, writes Bruce Cochrane.

From January, when PED was first detected in Ontario, to April about 60 cases were identified but since April only four or five new cases have been identified.

Dr Mike DeGroot, the technical veterinarian with Ontario Pork. says over the spring and summer there has been fairly good containment of the virus within the industry.

Dr Mike DeGroot-Ontario Pork:

Producers have really bought into the concept of improving their biosecurity and that this is a virus that we keep out of our farms if we focus on the key steps on biosecurity, on preventing it from coming in.

At the processing plants any of the positive pigs have been segregated to specific times and proper procedures are used to wash and disinfect the facilities after the pigs are shipped to the processing plants so it's really reduced the cross contamination of the virus by transport trucks at the processing plants.

A lot of different assembly yards in the province have also put in steps to segregate the flow of pigs going in and out of the assembly yards.

The transporters have also been very cooperative on biosecurity and taking key steps that they need to to prevent the virus from spreading from herd to herd and examples of that may be using dedicated trailers for PED positive farms to not using that same trailer to PED negative farms and doing a complete wash and disinfect after a transport trailer has been to a PED positive farm.

Dr DeGroot says, as we head toward winter, the key message is to really focus on biosecurity and washing and disinfecting equipment and trailers moving from farm to farm.

He says any virus that escapes from a farm will survive longer in the environment but if we focus on steps that can control the virus the hope is we'll be able to contain it even in the colder months.