Olymel’s Red Deer pork plant re-opened: CFIA

(Resource News International) — Quebec meat packer Olymel’s hog processing plant at Red Deer, Alta. is again open after shutting down operations Monday and Tuesday due to an animal disease scare.

Test results for foot-and-mouth disease, “which is what was feared by some, were negative and the plant has resumed operations,” said Lisa Gauthier, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency spokesperson based in Ottawa.

The Olymel plant, which processes about 45,000 hogs per week, did not make any shipments or receive shipments during the time of its closure.

The plant shut down after a shipment of hogs from a farm in Saskatchewan displayed visible symptoms of vesicular diseases, an official with the Canadian Pork Council had said Tuesday.

The shipment of hogs in question was not processed by the plant and was not considered to be a human health risk.

Samples were sent for immediate testing by the CFIA, and the initial farm from which the hogs were shipped from had been placed under quarantine.

Olymel officials were not available for comment Wednesday morning.

Foot-and-mouth disease is one of a group of vesicular diseases affecting hogs and other species and is considered one of the most contagious animal diseases. Clinical signs in hogs include hoof lesions, snout vesicles (fluid-filled blisters) and mouth lesions.

Foot-and-mouth was last reported in this country in 1952 and remains a reportable disease under federal animal health legislation, meaning all suspected cases must be reported to CFIA.

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