Farmscape for October 7, 2013
A Quebec City based veterinary consultant says it is possible for Canada to remain free of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea was identified for the first time in U.S. swine herds in mid-May and as of mid September had been confirmed in 612 farms in 17 states with most of those reported in Iowa and Oklahoma.
Dr. Marie-Claude Poulin, a Quebec City based veterinary consultant who first encountered PED in 2000 while working in China, says although the virus is highly transmissible it is possible for Canada to remain free of the infection.
Clip-Dr. Marie-Claude Poulin-Quebec City Veterinary Consultant:
The main risk is from all of the transport that occurs between Canada and the U.S.
We're doing a risk assessment in Quebec and we look at all the factors and the number one is the transport of cull sows to U.S.A. slaughter houses.
I think that so far the disease has not got into Canada so it means that it is possible to keep it out.
Obviously there are other diseases that the U.S. used to have, for example Aujeszky, and we managed to not bring it into Canada.
I understand that Aujeszky is not as infectious as PED but this is one of the examples.
My concern however is that, with the fall and winter coming around, I think there is an increased risk of contamination because the virus is surviving better in cold weather.
In my experience in China we had two waves of infection in 2011 and 2013 and both of them happened in the period of January to March when it was colder.
Dr. Poulin stresses when it comes to preventing PED from entering Canada it's all about biosecurity.
She stresses the main risk is transport between Canada and the U.S. so we have to make sure the truckers do a good job at washing, disinfecting and drying transport vehicles when they come back into Canada.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council