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Source Of Infection A Mystery

The Canadian Food

Inspection Agency insists a herd of pigs in Alberta infected with the H1N1 swine flu got it from a person, even though a prime suspect in the case was cleared.

“Contact with an infected person remains the most likely source of infection on this farm,” CFIA said in a statement last week although it acknowledges the source of infection remains unknown.

An earlier suspect was a carpenter who returned from Mexico, where H1N1 originated, to work at the Alberta farm April 14. The man went home with flu-like symptoms. Afterwards, the pigs also exhibited flu-like symptoms and blood tests showed the animals had H1N1. But tests confirmed the carpenter didn’t.

As a result, the source of the only known case of H1N1 flu in pigs in the world remains a mystery.

But because the virus originated in humans, the “virtually identical composition with the human strain” in the Alberta pigs makes people the most logical source, CFIA said.

CFIA said there was no evidence than an animal infected the herd. The farm was a farrow-to-finish operation which did “not have a history of purchased additions.”

Emergency Grazing Lands Opened

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association welcomed the announcement last week by Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and Environment Minister Nancy Heppner opening 100,000 acres of Fish and Wildlife Development Fund lands for emergency grazing across the province.

“This announcement is welcome news to Saskatchewan’s cattle producers that are being affected by drought,” said Calvin Knoss, president of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association. “We feel that this is a step in the right direction that gives producers another tool to help manage through this difficult situation.”

Knoss said his group will continue to monitor the situation and work with the government to help producers find solutions.

The most immediate concern facing producers in drought regions is water-supply shortages and looming forage supply shortages for this upcoming winter, said stock growers past president Ed Bothner. “The opening of this additional grazing land will help to extend the grazing season which help alleviate the supply and demand pressure on forage supplies,” he said.

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