The Ontario Pork Council is asking farmers and partners in the industry for ideas to step up biosecurity to keep Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus out of the province.
It has spread so far and wide in the United States now that there is little realistic hope that it will ever be eliminated.
That means that hopes of keeping it out of Canada depend on persistent vigilance and discipline.
The Ontario Pork Council has led the way in already taking the following measures:
1. Separation of US contact and Ontario contact loading chutes.
2. Separating US contact scrape out from Ontario scrape out.
3. Biosecurity controls for foot traffic.
4. Stopping washing and communal scrape out in the US (because these sites may increase the viral load on returning trucks).
5. Increasing the number of dedicated trailers.
6. Auditing and improving wash bay procedures and protocols.
7. Using dry disinfectants on trailers and load chutes.
8. Constructing “transfer stations” at the level of loading chutes to reduce the risk of infecting pigs remaining in the facilities due to contamination from dirty trailers.
9. Testing trailers for prevalence of PED virus.
10. Increasing communication about PED prevention measures to the Ontario pork production industry.
11. Working on index case containment and elimination plans.
Ontario is apparently far ahead of most other Canadian provinces, but they will need to step up as well because once the disease shows up in Canada, there will be an additional challenge to keep it out of Ontario.