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Workers Coping with PED Urged to Reach Out for Support

12 July 2017, at 6:00am

CANADA - Swine industry workers coping with the emotional stress involved in dealing with the devastation caused by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea are being encouraged to reach out for support, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Since the end of April, over 50 Manitoba swine farms have been confirmed infected with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.

Janice Goldsborough, the Human Resources and Training Coordinator with Manitoba Pork, says, while the presence of PED and changes in routine to deal with the heightened risk of infection have increased stress levels, the situation for workers in infected barns, especially those working with baby pigs, has been particularly difficult.

Janice Goldsborough-Manitoba Pork

For some of our barns, like our sow barns, the older pigs aren't impacted nearly as badly as our weanlings or the nurseries.

When the disease hits a nursery barn, that has the hardest impact because the little baby pigs are having the hardest time battling this disease.

For the employees this becomes very stressful because sometimes unfortunately there's not much that they can do other than to try and make the pigs comfortable and they have to deal with what ever comes along, whether it's humanely euthanizing them or trying to battle this disease so it doesn't keep spreading throughout the barns.

So it definitely affects stress levels, those who are working with the weanlings in the nursery barns etcetera.

They're the ones that seem to be impacted the hardest and those are the ones that we're really trying to focus on to make sure that they have the supports that they need for their emotional well being.

Ms Goldsborough notes support is available through Manitoba Farm and Rural Support Services or Klinic Community Health.

She encourages anyone who is struggling or who knows someone who is struggling to reach out for support, get plenty of rest and surround yourself with people who love you and are there to help you.

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