The manager of animal health and welfare programs with Manitoba Pork says stepped attention to transportation biosecurity will be key to keeping Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea off Manitoba hog farms as the weather turns colder.
Under Manitoba’s Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea surveillance program 100 samples are being collected each week from high traffic areas including provincial abattoirs, federal packing plants, truck washes and assembly yards.
Mark Fynn, the manager of animal health and welfare programs with Manitoba Pork, says we know the risk will rise as the weather turns colder.
The good news is that we’re not seeing any positive results for PED at the federal packing plants. Those are a really good indicator of whether we have on farm cases that we’re unaware of so it leads us to believe that we’re not dealing with any on farm cases at the moment.
We still see some positive results from time to time at the other high traffic facilities that have frequent U.S. contact and we’re relying on good biosecurity when we visit those sites to prevent bringing it back to the farm.
PED virus really survives well in cold temperatures and it’s easier to move around, especially when things are wet and slushy and so we know the risk of transmission is much higher in the winter months and the shoulder months than it is in the summer when we get away with things more.
In the U.S. who we use as indicators of viral movement and survivability, we expect to see more cases there. We hope in Manitoba that our biosecurity practices manage to keep it off farm and we don’t see any cases over the winter but there’s always the possibility and that’s why we encourage producers to really focus on biosecurity and make sure it’s not their farm that’s getting affected.
Fynn says the recommendations still focus on the farm gate, making sure we have good entry protocols to the barn so we don’t bring anything in and focussing on transport biosecurity including cleaning and disinfecting the trailers.