October 5 Town Hall Recap
It has been four years since the first outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) in North America. Strong practices in on-site biosecurity and surveillance systems have prevented this disease from sweeping across the entire country. Continued cooperation between all involved in the hog industry will be vital for continued success. Alberta Pork hosted a teleconference Town Hall last Thursday to update the industry on the current status of PEDv in Western Canada.
Voluntary Surveillance Key to Prevention
The Town Hall opened with an update from Dr. Julia Keenliside, a Veterinary Epidemiologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. She spoke with us about PEDv surveillance in Alberta, and the origins of the disease. Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan have been fortunate to not have encountered a PEDv-positive case on any premises in these provinces. She and her team collect sample data daily from abattoirs, barns, truck washes, and other swine-related sites. All of these sites volunteer to give these samples to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. This has allowed industry in Alberta to confirm PEDv-negative status, and enable quick response in case the disease should spread. They will continue this surveillance program into next year as funding allows.
32 Manitoba Operations Enter Transitional Status
Dr. Glen Duizer, from Manitoba's Chief Veterinary Office, joined the Town Hall with good news. There have been no new PEDv-positive premises in Manitoba since early September. 32 of the previously compromised operations have moved to transitional status. This means that producers have been able to ensure that the pigs shipping out of their farms are PEDv-negative.
Six of those 32 premises are now classified "presumptive negative." Five of the presumptive negative are nurseries, and one of them is a finishing operation. Presumptive negative means that all pigs are PEDv-negative as well as all pig contact surfaces, offices, and facilities around the premises. Live PEDv virus may still live in the manure, manure storage, and manure handling equipment on these premises. However, repeated testing has demonstrated that they've reached a stage where they are very low risk for PEDv.
Identified Risk Factors for PEDv Spread
Dr. Duizer has found that 30 of this year's 78 PEDv-positive sites were the result of direct animal movements between sites. In many of these cases, this movement is necessary because either space limitations or normal movements from one premises to another in a multi-site production chain. Any opportunity to limit or delay movements will help limit the spread of the disease.
Dr. Duizer noted other risk factors: Staff and equipment movements can play an indirect role in transferring the disease from one premises to another. Geographic or area spread, including weather and pest (rodent/bird) factors, are being further investigated.
Alberta Pork is Here to Help
Alberta Pork will continue to monitor this situation. Producers will be notified if any major swine-related disease should appear in Alberta. As always, Alberta Pork is your resource. We will continue our efforts to inform and train producers on the best biosecurity practices for their operations.
Listen to the full Town Hall here: