New PED Cases Pop Up in Manitoba

Photo courtesy of greybrucepork.com

After several months without any new cases, porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus has been found on two hog farms in Manitoba within the last week.

The province’s Chief Veterinary Officer on Thursday confirmed Manitoba’s fourth on-farm case in a sow operation in the southeast corner of the province. Just six days earlier, PED was also confirmed in a sow barn less than five kilometres away.

Both of the new cases were discovered after the producer reported clinical signs of PED.

There’s concern the disease that has devastated many U.S. hog farms will flare up again in fall as the risk of the virus spreading rises in cooler temperatures. Up until last Friday, Manitoba’s most recent on-farm case was confirmed in early May.

Ontario has had 63 reported cases of PED, while Quebec and PEI have both had one.

The Manitoba Pork Council is reminding producers to follow strict biosecurity rules, noting in a newsletter to producers that “we have been made aware of three risky practices that are putting our farms and our industry at amplified risk”:

  1. Some producers have not been wearing disposable boot covers while outside of their vehicles when at high-risk sites, such as assembly yards. You should always put them on when exiting your vehicle and remove them as you re-enter the vehicle, making sure to dispose of them in a biosecure way by putting them immediately into a garbage bag or receptacle.
  2. Some producers are not washing their trucks and trailers when returning from high-risk sites. This is an absolute must.
  3. Many producers are performing self-washes instead of full-service washes. This, in and of itself, is fine, if you’re performing a thorough wash. However, we have been informed that some producers are performing self-washes by themselves in under 30 minutes. We know most full-service washes take two workers and two hours to complete, putting the quality of some of our self-washes in question. Be sure to follow the best protocols to prevent bringing PEDv and other diseases back to your farm.

Just to be clear, while PED is generally fatal for young pigs, it is not transmitted to humans or other animals, and is not a food safety risk.

 

Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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