Grand Valley Fortifiers of Cambridge has issued a lengthy and detailed statement outlining steps it has taken since suspicions were raised about its role in spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
Research is underway to determine for sure whether piglets can be infected from feed that contains blood plasma gathered at packing plants and used as a feed ingredient.
Grand Valley used spray-died blood plasma from a U.S. supplier where the virus has spread to several thousand farms.
The company says suspicions about its role in spreading the virus first arose Jan 31 and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food gathered 50 swabs from its delivery trucks. All were clean and the company says that confirmed its biosecurity protocols for the trucks were working.
But then a researcher at the Kansas State University speculated it could be spreading in feed and under prompting from Dr. Doug McDougald of Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services OMAF’s epidemiological team gathered 70 samples of Grand Valley’s pelleted feed and six blood plasma samples. Five of the six blood plasma samples contained PEDv genetic material – i.e. RNA.
Three of the feed samples were positive for the virus RNA.
While that’s not conclusive evidence it could cause the disease, Grand Valley began a recall right after learning the test results Saturday, Feb. 8.
The company warned all of its customers that it would be risky to feed any of the rations made since Jan. 1.
Grand Valley appended a copy of the Canadian Food Inspection advisory on the issue to its own statement.
Nutreco has also stopped using blood plasma in hog feeds made and marketed by its Shur Gain and Landmark mills.