Manitoba’s hog producer body is taking farmers to task for “risky practices” following confirmation of the province’s third case of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED).
Manitoba’s chief veterinary office (CVO) confirmed Friday and announced Monday that a sow farm in the province’s southeast is the third to have animals with the PED virus (PEDv).
Two hog finishing operations in southeastern Manitoba were confirmed with the disease in February and May respectively. One of the two previously infected farms tested positive for PED again in July.
“Although it is disheartening to see another case arise, we should use this as a lesson learned and elevate our biosecurity practices, especially with cold, wet weather looming,” Manitoba Pork said in a statement Tuesday. “As we know, the risk of the virus spreading increases exponentially in colder seasons.”
Symptoms of PED in older animals such as sows are generally limited to “loose feces,” the CVO said Monday.
In very young piglets, however, the virus leads to diarrhea, vomiting, severe dehydration and, usually, death. The virus is not transmitted to people or other animals and is not a food safety risk.
The hog herd in the U.S. has lost millions of piglets to PED since the virus appeared there early last year. [Related story] Confirmed cases have since been reported on almost 8,400 farms across 31 states.
In Canada, where PED was confirmed for the first time in January, the virus has since been confirmed on 68 farms, nearly all in southern Ontario but for five cases in Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
Manitoba Pork on Tuesday called out producers for taking risks such as not wearing disposable boot covers while outside of their vehicles when attending “high-risk” locations such as assembly yards.
“You should always put them on when exiting your vehicle and remove them as you re-enter the vehicle, making sure to dispose of them in a biosecure way by putting them immediately into a garbage bag or receptacle,” the council said.
Secondly, Manitoba Pork said, it’s an “absolute must” for producers to wash their trucks and trailers when returning from such high-risk sites, but some producers are not doing so.
Third, many producers are performing “self-washes” instead of “full-service” washes.
“This, in and of itself, is fine, if you’re performing a thorough wash,” Manitoba Pork said Tuesday. “However, we have been informed that some producers are performing self-washes by themselves in under 30 minutes. We know most full-service washes take two workers and two hours to complete, putting the quality of some of our self-washes in question.”
Generally, the council said, Manitoba’s hog producers need to assume that all high pig-traffic sites, especially those with “frequent U.S. contact,” are contaminated with PEDv. — AGCanada.com Network