Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pork council expects more PED cases

Lori Moser of the Ontario Pork Industry Council says there will probably be more outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in the province before the situation is brought under control.

She bases her prediction on barns that have already had outbreaks and the flow of pigs from those barns to other farms.

She wrote in a Thursday report that “the information from the balance of cases (i.e. eight farms) points to biosecurity gaps involving farm, transport and other.

“It is thought that pig movement from these sites may result in a significant increase in contaminated sites in the short-term.”

The 25th case, identified on Wednesday, is a finishing barn in Bruce County.
Moser says 17 of the 25 farms bought nursery feed that contained blood plasma imported from the United States.

Grand Valley Fortifiers of Cambridge is the only Canadian company to admit that it put the U.S. blood plasma into its nursery-pig rations. As soon as it became aware of the potential risk, it alerted all of its customers to stop feeding those rations and the company stopped using imported blood plasma.

Moser notes in her report that the plasma has been tested and found to be contaminated with “genetic material” from PED virus, but also notes that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found it was not able to infect piglets with the disease by feeding them pelleted feed containing the PED-contaminated blood plasma.

Moser says the 25 farms that have experienced an outbreak since Jan. 22 own about 16,000 sows, which is five per cent of the Ontario sow herd.

Twenty sites included sow herds. None of their pigs will be going to market.
Some of the farms that experienced the earliest disease outbreaks have been cleaned up and are back in production, Moser reports.

She reminds the industry that provincial regulations require people to report any PED outbreak.

In boldface print, she writes: “Now that PED has infected a number of sites in Ontario, continued efforts around biosecurity and extra vigilance is required by all sectors of our industry to control and contain the virus.”

She says the return of warmer weather will significantly reduce the spread of the virus which survives longer in cold temperatures.