The Canadian Swine Health Board says animal health officials have stepped up their focus on the cleanliness of trucks returning to Canada from the U.S. in an effort to contain the spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, a viral disease that causes severe watery diarrhea in pigs resulting in high mortality in piglets due to dehydration, was identified in the U.S. mid-west in mid-May and has been spreading.
Dr. Dan Hurnik, the chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board’s Long Term Disease Risk Management Committee and a member of the faculty of the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, says the Canadian Swine Health Board and the National Pork Producers Council are working together to contain the spread of the infection.
In the United States where the disease is present there is an intensive effort at increasing biosecurity, reducing transmission between farms particularly the movement of animals and trucks.
The American Association of Swine Practitioners has a number of biosecurity bulletins that they’re issuing to their members and clients.
In Canada, where we haven’t seen the virus, the biggest risk would be any animals or equipment returning from affected states and so the largest priority is on trucks that are returning.
They do go to the U.S. on a regular basis and ensuring that those trucks are effectively cleaned before returning to Canada.
Discussions are underway with Swine Health Board and government agencies to see what’s possible.
This virus is not reportable or a virus that is regulated so there’s coordinated actions being planned by both industry and government.
Dr. Dan Hurnik says, as far as individual producers, the main goal should be to ensure that any equipment coming onto the farm has not had contact with affected regions and has been adequately disinfected.