Cold Weather Prompts a Step up in Transport Biosecurity

CANADA - The executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians is encouraging pork producers to be aware of the heightened risk of the spread of PED as the weather turns colder, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 5 December 2014
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North American pork producers are stepping up their focus on transport biosecurity as the weather turns colder and the risk of the spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus increases.

Dr Tom Burkgren, the executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, reports we have not seen any spikes in the numbers of cases but with this colder weather veterinarians, especially in the midwest and the southeast, are watching to see if we have any increase in the number of new cases.

Dr Tom Burkgren-American Association of Swine Veterinarians:

We have not seen any major changes in the way the virus is popping up. It's still kind of sporadic.

Of course it's more likely to occur in an area that is hog dense and pretty much where you've expected to see it in the past you will expect to see it in the future.

The one interesting case is that we have seen a PED outbreak in Hawaii.

There's information being gathered about that trying to pinpoint the source of the PED, how it got into those pigs.

From what we've seen with the virus the previous year is that the cold weather allows the virus to spread a little bit easier.

The cooler weather is a more amenable for spread of the virus and the other thing that happens is it's a little bit harder in the mid-west when the temperature is 10 degrees above zero fahrenheit to wash and disinfect and dry down trailers especially the trailers being used for finisher transport.

We know that transport is a major risk factor for bringing the virus back to a farm.

So it's a complication, a risk factor that we've just got to be a little bit more aware of as you bring those trailers and trucks back to farms.

Dr Burkgren says the more we pay attention to the details of biosecurity the more successful we'll be with any pathogen

Charlotte Rowney

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