CFIA will allow imports of PEDv vaccine-in-progress

Hog veterinarians in Canada can now get permits to import a next-generation vaccine in the hopes of protecting Canadian herds against porcine epidemic diarrhea (PEDv).

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) may now issue such permits “immediately” to import the vaccine, marketed under the name iPED+ by Iowa-based Harrisvaccines, for use in Canadian pig herds, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Thursday.

Harrisvaccines’ “preliminary studies” have shown that vaccinated pigs develop antibodies against PEDv using iPED+, a new version of the company’s previously-developed iPED vaccine, the government said.

iPED+ will be available for use in hog herds in Canada — under “veterinary supervision” — as a precautionary measure against PEDv, the government said.

Swine producers should contact their veterinarians about the vaccine, the government said.

The Iowa company began evaluating vaccines last year following the virus’ arrival in the U.S. last spring. Previously, the virus had only been seen in Asia and Europe.

The virus is known to be highly contagious in affected herds, causing acute diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration in hogs. In groups of piglets previously unexposed to the virus, mortality rates can reach 100 per cent. The virus is not a risk to human health or food safety.

The U.S., home to PEDv’s first North American appearance, has seen nearly 2,700 cases of PEDv in hogs in 23 states. Estimates of total PEDv-related death losses in the U.S. herd to date range from one million to four million hogs.

The virus last week arrived in Canada at a farrow-to-finish operation in southwestern Ontario’s Middlesex County, and has since been confirmed at three other hog barns in the region: two in the Chatham-Kent area and one in Norfolk County.

“Sampling has also confirmed the presence of the virus at an assembly yard, a trucking yard, and a processing plant,” the Ontario government reported Thursday.

Quebec pork packer Olymel last week also reported the presence of the virus on an unloading dock at one of its hog slaughter plants north of Montreal.

“Given the hardy, virulent nature of PED it is not unexpected to find it present in various locations,” the Ontario government said Thursday. “The experience in the U.S. has shown us that.”

The federal government is “working closely with pork farmers to ensure that effective biosecurity measures are in place and will continue in assisting with any monitoring, diagnostic and technical support as needed,” Maxime Bernier, the federal minister of state for agriculture, said in the government’s release Thursday.

Hog producers “need access to whatever tools are available to fight this virus,” Canadian Pork Council chairman Jean-Guy Vincent said in the same release, adding that producers “need to do everything they can on-farm through their due diligence and biosecurity efforts (to) limit the spread of the PED virus.” — Network

Related story:
Fourth Ont. hog farm hit by diarrhea virus, official says, Jan. 29, 2014

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