Wednesday, September 21, 2016

U.S. inspectors spot virus in Canadian sows

Inspectors in the United States have been spotting lesions that look like foot and mouth disease on shipments of sows from Canadian farms.

The symptoms turned out to be Seneca Valley virus, which is relatively harmless.

However, the symptoms set off alarm bells and disrupted operations at packing plants, so the Canadian Pork Council is asking Canadian hog farmers to be more careful about Seneca Valley virus.

More specifically, it is asking farmers to maintain a closer watch for symptoms and to avoid shipping any pigs with those symptoms.

The United States Department of Agriculture recently informed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that 13 sows from Canada, shipped in six different lots, had lesions. 

Two loads were refused entry at the border the next day.

Dr. Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council, says, while foreign animal disease tests ruled out Foot and Mouth Disease, Seneca Valley Virus was identified.

He advises farmers to “look for signs of lameness, look for signs of redness around the snout and around the mouth, pigs going off feed.

“If we can prevent those pigs from getting loaded, then we can prevent these disruptions in market and transport and so on and so forth.

“At this time we really want pork producers just to be aware of what the clinical signs are,” he said in an interview with Bruce Cochrane of Farmscape.

“If they see anything suspicious, please contact their herd veterinarian and then the veterinarian, at that time, can make the determination whether they should bring in the CFIA immediately and get some testing done to determine if it's actually foot and mouth disease or simply Seneca Valley virus."