US Pork Producers Advised to Focus on Biosecurity, Immunity

US - The American Association of Swine Veterinarians is urging pork producers to keep up their focus on biosecurity and maintaining herd immunity heading into the winter to keep PED at bay, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 2 October 2015
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Although the incidence of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea has been down significantly in the US this summer, the winter is expected show whether it's going to be an endemic disease or whether there will be an opportunity to eliminate it.

Dr Harry Snelson, the director of communications with American Association of Swine Veterinarians, credits the reduction to increased attention to biosecurity and improved herd immunity from previous exposure as well as the introduction of vaccination.

Dr Harry Snelson-American Association of Swine Veterinarians:

We're still stressing biosecurity, particularly as it relates to transportation and moving animals to those points of concentration such as the abattoirs and market areas and then making sure that those trucks that come back to the farm are well cleaned and disinfected and also concentrating on trying to maintain that herd immunity level utilising vaccinations and other opportunities to raise that immunity on gilts and boars as they come into the herd.

I would just say that I think the industry has done a pretty good job in responding to this outbreak.
As we said we're continuing to encourage significant attention to biosecurity.

I think that's made a critical impact in what we've been able to accomplish and we don't want to let our guard down in that regard, remind producers that, as we go into the winter, this virus likes cooler weather, it survives better in the cooler weather, it transmits very easily in cooler weather so we're certainly going to be at an increased risk period, and they need to be aware that herd immunity might be declining at this point and the virus is not gone.

It's still out there so don't let their guard down.

Dr Snelson says, as the breeding herd is turned over and the immunity levels decline, we'll just have to see how much virus is still out there, active and spreading and how protected the herds are from an immunity standpoint.

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