Just how devastating is PEDv in the pig industry?

The Director of Animal Health with Hylife says the emotional experience of dealing with Porcine epidemic diarrhoea is much worse than most people realise.
calendar icon 22 November 2019
clock icon 3 minute read

Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus entered Canada in 2014 showing up in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island and the virus was discovered in Alberta in January of this year.

In Manitoba in 2017, the worst year on record for the province, 80 cases were confirmed and, after dropping off last year, numbers are high again this year.

"PEDv: is it really that bad" was among the topics discussed last week in Saskatoon as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2019.

Speaking to Farmscape, Dr Karine Talbot, the Director of Animal Health with Hylife, says dealing with PEDv is not an experience anyone wants to repeat.

"It is very bad," says Dr Talbot, "It's even worse than anyone can think of, mostly in a sow barn. It is something you never forget in your life. It's something that affects your day to day.

"It changes the way you think about biosecurity, biocontainment. It's not something you ever forget.

"Also talking to our employees and staff that work in the barn that went through PED, we've very often heard the comment, 'if my barn gets it again I will quit'.

"It's so hard, people don't want to face that again.

"It's not just hard emotionally but also physically because you have to work so hard.

"There's so many steps to go through. Mostly in a sow barn, handling all that death is not something good.

"After that we see the after effects for 8 to 12 months of sow production loss so, even once you think you're through it, you might not see the production you used to see.

"That seems to be driving the problem too and it's even worse when you get it the second time. It's not something you forget easy."

Dr Talbot says, through all of these outbreaks, there has been a concerted effort to create awareness of the need to improve biosecurity protocols to battle this infection. She says, from what she has personally seen, PEDv is not something you can forget.

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