A new case of PEDv confirmed in a finisher barn May 15 in southeastern Manitoba once again has the hog sector on high alert.
Biocontainment procedures were immediately put on the site where the virus was detected, while Manitoba Pork and the Chief Veterinary Office recommended all premises heighten biosecurity in a large swath of southeastern Manitoba.
That area is defined by a western boundary of Hwy. 75, north by PR 210, east by Hwy. 12, and south by Hwy. 52 (and mile road 36N that continues west from 52 to 200 and the Red River).
This area has been impacted by PED in May and June of the past three years.
These roadways were chosen to provide well-defined boundaries for all involved to be vigilant, said Jenelle Hamblin, Manitoba Pork Council (MPC) swine health manager.
“Those roadways provide a physical reminder for people in the area to enhance their biosecurity because the risk is still there,” she said.
Manitoba Pork issued an advisory just before the long weekend notifying all producers to consult their veterinarian on enhanced biosecurity protocols for implementing on their specific premises.
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“The main message we’ve been giving is to work closely with the veterinarian to develop the protocols, because every site is set up differently and functions differently,” Hamblin said.
“The biggest thing is working with your veterinarian to develop those biosecurity protocols that work best for your operation.”
Procedures include controlled access zones and limiting the site traffic to essential service providers. Parking vehicles well away from the barn and implementing physical barriers in the barn to remind staff of shoe and glove changes are also recommended preventive actions.
PEDv is both “frustrating and scary” but producers do need to remember the risk remains and to analyze that risk in everything they’re doing, Hamblin said, adding that means very close attention to everything coming into the barn, who is entering the barn and the practices while working with the animals.
“This virus is tricky,” she said. “It moves on many different things and we have found that it has been able to breach through when premises are practising strong biosecurity.
“We do have to remain vigilant with every single thing we do. It’s something we have to keep in mind with every practice and everything that’s happening on the premises. Sometimes that can be hard to remember in things we normally do. It can just take one slip when we’re dealing with an outbreak in the barn.”
Related to 2017’s outbreak, there are 68 premises that have reached presumptive negative status, meaning the affected producer has implemented strict measures to eliminate PED from all pigs and pig contact areas and has confirmed the virus has been eliminated through repeated animal and environmental testing.
Eleven premises remain transitional and one positive site remains.
Manitoba’s hog producers have been dealing with incidents of PED since a first confirmed case in February of 2014. The sector was hit especially hard in 2017, when 80 barns tested positive.
The events of last year served to rivet producers’ attention on the need for tightened biosecurity and to pay very close attention to movements on and off farm.
“The main message would be to continue that heightened biosecurity if you haven’t already put it in place,” Hamblin said.
Upon confirmation of last week’s case, the barn was closed immediately and all biocontainment measures put into effect to prevent the spread of the disease.
PED causes severe dehydration and diarrhea in pigs, and usually kills young animals although older animals can recover. It is not transmitted to humans or other animals and is not a food safety risk.
All producers are being urged to sign on to the password-protected Manitoba Coordinated Disease Response (MCDR) online to access detailed information regarding statuses and locations of affected premises.
To arrange to sign a producer confidentiality/information sharing agreement to access MCDR, or for other assistance, contact Hamblin at jhamb [email protected] or 204-235-4442.