PED strikes again in SE Manitoba

(Manitoba Co-operator file photo by Laura Rance)

Manitoba has now booked its fifth hog farm with cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED).

The provincial chief veterinary officer (CVO) on Tuesday confirmed the case in a nursery finisher barn in the province’s livestock-intensive southeast.

While the CVO didn’t give the farm’s exact location, the property is outside a five-kilometre buffer zone around two sow operations that were confirmed with PED on Sept. 19 and 24.

So far there’s no “known link” between the new case and previously diagnosed cases of PED, the province said. The CVO is investigating other premises that have been in direct or indirect contact with the farm in question.

Investigations into Manitoba’s third and fourth on-farm cases continue, including testing for the PED virus (PEDv) on nearby farms and “other contacts,” but so far have turned up no additional cases.

Manitoba continues to be the only Canadian province reporting new cases heading into winter, when PEDv is considered to be at greater risk of spreading.

The five separate infected farms in Manitoba include one farm where the disease was confirmed earlier this year and was confirmed July 23 to be re-infected.

Of the 70 Canadian farms with confirmed cases of PED, 63 were in southern Ontario, but that province hasn’t confirmed a new case since July 21. Quebec and Prince Edward Island have each reported one case.

The virus, which first appeared in Canada in January and is generally fatal in very young piglets, has been particularly damaging in the U.S., where it first appeared early last year. There, the virus has been confirmed in hogs at almost 8,400 properties across 31 states and is estimated to have killed about eight million piglets.

PED is not considered a food safety issue and does not affect humans. Older hogs often have less serious symptoms and generally recover.


Manitoba Pork, the province’s hog industry body, said Wednesday the new cases show specific weak spots in the hog sector’s biosecurity practices through surveillance and disease investigations.

Such practices, Manitoba Pork said, include producers delivering pigs to “higher-risk sites” such as assembly yards and abattoirs, and the practices of service people visiting farm sites.

Manitoba has also found six “environmental” cases of the PED virus at off-farm sites such as assembly yards, abattoirs, truck-wash stations and livestock trailers, plus two cases in live animals tested at such sites.

Those eight cases come from 3,776 samples submitted so far for PED testing from 18 different high-traffic sites in Manitoba, the province said.

Federal regulations which took effect July 1 now require anyone in Canada who ships or receives hogs to report any such movement within seven days to the PigTrace Canada database.

Producers need to be wearing disposable boot covers whenever they are outside of their vehicle at high-risk sites and must get a “complete and thorough” wash done on trucks and trailers immediately after leaving such sites, Manitoba Pork said.

Producers must also now “insist” that service people visiting their farms contact the farm before arriving and inform the farmer of where they were previously.

Service people should only enter the yard “if absolutely necessary” and should ensure their vehicles are washed before visiting a site, if they must enter the yard.

Service people should also use disposable boot covers when outside of their vehicles at the site, proceed “directly” to the area they are servicing after notifying staff by phone, then leave the site directly afterward.

Service people should also preferably plan their schedules to move from “high-health” sites to low-health sites with as much downtime as possible between sites, Manitoba Pork said. — Network

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