Quebec’s first case of PEDv confirmed

(Manitoba Co-operator file photo by Laura Rance)

A farm in Quebec’s Monteregie was confirmed Sunday as the province’s first case of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) in hogs.

The provincial agriculture, food and fisheries department didn’t specify whether the affected farm was a farrowing and/or finishing operation or provide other details on its location or the number of mortalities, if any, when it announced the confirmed case Sunday.

As soon as the virus was suspected on the farm, biosecurity measures were boosted to avoid transmitting the illness to other farms, the province said. The Monteregie is an administrative region directly south and east of Montreal, on the south side of the St. Lawrence River.

No other suspected cases have yet been reported from farms associated with the Monteregie operation, and “the situation is under control.”

Dr. Michel Major, the province’s chief veterinarian, emphasized in a release Sunday that all measures were being taken to limit the virus’ spread and the provincial ag ministry continues to monitor the situation on a provincial scale.

That said, he urged hog producers, truckers and slaughter plants to maintain strict biosecurity measures and to apply them also to any suppliers and other visitors.

The province also emphasized the virus, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration in infected hogs and is fatal in up to 100 per cent of infected newborn piglets, does not affect people or other animal species and does not pose a food safety risk.

Report immediately

Quebec — which as of 2012 was Canada’s largest hog-producing province in terms of total hogs on-farm — last week passed a new regulation requiring any laboratories confirming a positive test for the PED virus (PEDv) to report it immediately to provincial officials. [Related story]

Further regulatory amendments, requiring Quebec farmers and veterinarians to immediately report suspected cases of PEDv and other animal diseases deemed provincially reportable, were also published last week for public comment.

In the meantime, the province’s ag ministry urged farmers to “immediately” contact their veterinarians if the virus is suspected on their farms, and to immediately report any positive findings to the provincial porcine health team (EQSP) at 1-866-363-2433.

Although the virus was detected last month in swab tests on an unloading dock at a hog slaughter plant north of Montreal, Sunday’s confirmation makes Quebec the fourth province with at least one case in hogs.

Ontario, where the virus first arrived in Canada last month, has confirmed the virus on 21 hog operations, mostly in the province’s southwestern region, as of Thursday, along with “some positive samples” from swab tests at assembly yards, trucking yards and processing plants.

Manitoba and Prince Edward Island have each reported one confirmed case on hog farms.

PEDv, previously seen in Europe and Asia, arrived in North America in April last year by way of the U.S., where it’s since been confirmed on over 3,500 hog farms across 25 states and is estimated to have killed between one million and four million hogs. PEDv also turned up on hog farms in Mexico starting last summer. — Network

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