Swine producers in Alberta ramp up biosecurity in response to PEDv

It’s been nearly five years since the deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) was first reported in Canada. That case was in 2014, in the province of Ontario. Since then, the virus has been reported in Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and Quebec.

Now, it’s been found in Alberta, at an operation with 400 pigs.

“We’re just trying to figure out what happened, how it got to the farm, and try to deal with the pigs themselves,” said Alberta Pork executive director Darcy Fitzgerald. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to keep it under control.”

How it’s spread

PEDv is usually transmitted by oral contact with feces from contaminated pigs. It has 100% mortality in piglets and nursing pigs. The virus doesn’t affect humans or other animals and poses no food safety risk, meaning pork products are safe to eat. Still, it can potentially disrupt supply because it is so deadly.

“Strict biosecurity protocols are of utmost importance in limiting the impact of disease in agriculture,” said Alberta Pork in a statement. “It is especially critical during this outbreak that producers consider enhancing biosecurity on-farm and in animal transportation.”

Ramped up biosecurity measures goes beyond cleaning and disinfection — documentation, limiting access to animals and proper separation techniques matter, too.

  • Cleaning and disinfection: All rooms, trucks and trailers should be cleaned using high-pressure water along with a cleaner (to break down debris) and a disinfectant (which kills pathogens). Using a cleaner makes it easier for a disinfectant to do its job properly.
  • Movement: The number of people with access to the animals should be limited.
  • Quarantine: When introducing new animals to a facility, they should be quarantined for an appropriate amount of time based on consultations with a veterinarian.
  • Pest control: Rodents and other pests have no place in a biosecure facility. A strong pest control program relies on a rotational strategy and prevents rodents from spreading disease.

Neogen offers products that can play an essential role in any biosecurity program, including disinfectants, cleaners, personal protective equipment and more. See our website for more information.

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