Farmscape for March 24, 2014
Saskatchewan's chief veterinary officer reports the province's pork industry has stepped up the focus on biosecurity in the wake of the detection of a positive environmental sample for TGE and PED in February.
Just over one month ago a positive environmental sample for Transmissible Gastroenteritis and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea was detected in Saskatchewan on dirty boots in a trailer returning from the United States.
Dr. Betty Althouse, the chief veterinary officer for Saskatchewan with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, says the focus still needs to be biosecurity, biosecurity, biosecurity.
Clip-Dr. Betty Althouse-Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture:
I think producers have been very responsive.
It's their pigs and their production at stake.
There's record high prices right now and that means everyone wants to have high production.
The risks to production with this disease are obviously really high so putting extra biosecurity practices in place to prevent the piglet losses is an easy choice for producers to make right now.
I think also the transport companies have been pretty proactive in implementing good cleaning and disinfection protocols that work even in cold weather.
I think the trucks going to the U.S. do have a higher risk and extra efforts to avoid contaminating trailers and truck cabs are being taken such as dedicating clothing and boots or using disposables when they're visiting sites such as slaughter plants in the states.
Some of the trucks and trailers returning from the U.S. are now being washed up to three times.
They're washing them in the U.S., washing again at a commercial truck wash in Saskatchewan and a final wash and disinfection closer to the time of next use.
We're also seeing producers looking for assurances that the trailers have been washed and disinfected before letting them come onto their property to load out pigs.
Dr. Althouse stresses biosecurity has been shown to be effective in keeping disease out of the farm.
She says, looking ahead, warmer summer weather will make cleaning and disinfection of trucks and trailers a little easier but we really do need to maintain the focus on biosecurity efforts.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council