A 400-head hog operation in Alberta has contracted the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, a disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting in pigs. Alberta Pork is working closely with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to fully investigate this outbreak and prevent the disease from spreading further.
This is the first-ever reported case of PED in Alberta. The disease affects pigs but poses no risk to human health. This incident has not caused any food safety concerns, and pork products remain safe for consumption.
The first case of PED in Canada was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in January 2014 on a swine farm in Ontario. Since then, PED has also been reported in Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
The virus is spread by the fecal-oral route, with the most common source being infected feces coming onto a farm with various surfaces that can transmit the virus. In nursing pigs, PED can cause up to 100 per cent mortality.
Strict biosecurity protocols are of utmost importance in limiting the impact of disease in agriculture. It is especially critical during this outbreak that producers consider enhancing biosecurity on-farm and in animal transportation. Producers are encouraged to submit all swine manifests, including farm-to-farm movements, in a timely manner.
Any place off-farm, such as an abattoir, should be considered as a potential source for bringing disease to your herd. Producers are reminded to review their farms’ biosecurity policies regularly and consult Alberta Pork or your herd veterinarian as required.
Alberta Pork will continue to communicate updates on this outbreak as new information is received.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact Javier Bahamon, Quality Assurance and Production Manager, Alberta Pork by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 780-469-8982, toll-free at 1-877-247-PORK (7675).