PEDv confirmed in Manitoba, suspected in P.E.I.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea, which has reached over 3,500 farms in 25 U.S. states since last April, is now confirmed on 23 farms in Ontario, Manitoba and P.E.I. (Photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

The piglet-killing porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) is now suspected to have reached Canadian hog farms in three provinces.

The Manitoba government and Manitoba Pork Council on Friday reported the virus is now confirmed in hogs at a wean-to-finish operation in the province’s southeast, a region known for intensive livestock production and considered to be Manitoba’s “hog alley.”

Samples from the farm were confirmed in lab tests at Winnipeg’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease to be PEDv, the province said Friday. [Related story]

Samples also arrived Friday at the Winnipeg lab from a farm on Prince Edward Island after local tests turned up a suspected positive case of PEDv, according to Tim Seeber, executive director of the P.E.I. Hog Commodity Marketing Board.

Seeber wouldn’t say whether the farm in question was a farrowing, weaning and/or finishing operation. The province’s hog industry today includes fewer than two dozen producers, he noted.

As of Friday, the virus has now also been confirmed on 16 farms in southern Ontario. Nearly all of those cases are in the southwestern region, but the two farrow-to-finish operations confirmed PEDv-positive Friday are further east, in the Niagara area and in Leeds-Grenville United Counties, south of Ottawa.

“Less severe”

In southeastern Manitoba, the affected producer has been “working closely” with the province and pork council to contain the virus on the premises and has “chosen to restrict all animal movement on and off the farm,” the province said.

The virus — which causes diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration and has been known to kill up to 100 per cent of newborn piglets in affected farrowing barns — has caused “less severe symptoms” on the Manitoba farm. The farm’s mortalities are “within the normal range” for weanlings.

The focus now for Manitoba’s chief veterinary officer (CVO) is to investigate any contact other farms may have had with the farm in question, and how the virus may have arrived there, the province said.

Trucks transporting pigs can help reduce the risk of transmitting PEDv between farms, through “appropriate truck-washing protocols,” the province said, noting that information has been available to truckers at the Manitoba border since earlier this month.

The province and pork council noted they recently launched a “rapid-detection” monitoring program for PEDv, in which facilities that move or handle large numbers of pigs can determine if they have been exposed. [Related story]

“No cases have been detected using this system to date, but its operations will continue,” the province said Friday. — Network

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