Sask. sets up pre-emptive PEDv response fund

Saskatchewan and its hog industry are setting up a contingency fund against the day porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) arrives in the province.

The federal and Saskatchewan governments on Thursday announced $200,000, to be matched by industry association Sask Pork, to offset “costs related to disease containment strategies, welfare issues, enhanced marketing efforts and mortality management” when or if PED is confirmed in hogs in the province.

“This funding will enable producers to work with their local veterinarian and marketing agencies to contain PED, locate alternate markets for PED positive pigs and ultimately minimize the spread of the disease in Saskatchewan,” provincial Ag Minister Lyle Stewart said in a release.

“It’s critical we move quickly to contain and prevent the movement of PEDv should we have a break,” Sask Pork chairman Florian Possberg said in a separate release Thursday.

“This contingency funding enables the industry and chief veterinary office to act quickly on a break and gives the assurance to producers that there will be some help to clean up an affected herd and stop the spread of the disease to other swine herds in the province.”

The industry and governments have been working toward a “comprehensive response and containment strategy” to deal with PED on Saskatchewan farms since before the virus arrived in Canada in January, Sask Pork said Thursday.

Saskatchewan has already made PED a notifiable disease, requiring laboratories to report the disease to the office of chief veterinary officer Dr. Betty Althouse within 24 hours.

The province has also already set up a biosecurity program with $150,000 toward improved on-farm biosecurity efforts, such as $300 for an onsite veterinary assessment and $1,000 for onsite biosecurity changes. Trucking companies are eligible for $500 to complete a biosecurity audit of wash facilities.

The province has also budgeted $90,000 for PED surveillance at “high-risk” sites such as assembly yards, abattoirs, renderers and truck facilities.

Saskatchewan today has 119 active hog producers, producing about 2.2 million market hogs with about 91,000 sows.

PED, since January, has been confirmed in hogs on 52 farms in Ontario and one each in Quebec, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, and in hogs off-farm at an unnamed “high-traffic site” in western Manitoba. — Network


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