PED virus has come up once again in Manitoba, but according to Manitoba Pork’s general manager, Andrew Dickson, the cases recorded are isolated.
On May 26, Manitoba's office of the Chief Veterinarian (CVO) received positive test results for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) from a batch-farrow sow barn in Manitoba. In addition, a second case was found last week in a finisher barn in south-eastern Manitoba.
In both cases, producers have been fully cooperating with the CVO and control measures have been implemented on the sites, while epidemiological investigation is ongoing. Direct and indirect contacts and farms within 5 km of the site are being contacted.
Lifting the emergency transportation protocol
Nevertheless, Canada's federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay said that the government will not intervene with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) decision to lift the emergency transportation protocol. This protocol has kept Western Canada virtually PEDv free since early 2014.
The minister was responding to urging by Larry Maguire, member of parliament for Brandon-Souris, to listen to veterinarians, swine producer groups and swine health researchers, and reverse the CFIA decision before PEDv is transported into Canada from infected US sites.
Amending 'outdated' regulations
Working with the Canadian Pork Council and other provincial pork associations, Manitoba Pork will continue to press the federal government to amend what it calls 'outdated' regulation and allow transporters to wash at audited Canadian facilities, rather than in the US where the disease is rampant.
"We have no evidence to show that the link between trailers that have recently come back from the United States and this particular barn PEDv positive testing barn," said Andrew Dickson, Manitoba Pork. "There is no physical evidence and also we don't know right now how the virus got onto this farm – we just don't know."
Measures ask for stronger barrier
The MPC general manager said, however, it illustrates the concern they have about the disease – it has not gone away, it is still endemic in the United States, and believes the measures they're advocating provide a stronger barrier to this disease entering the province because it reduces the potential for this virus to circulate in the environment in Manitoba.
With a new case of PED in Manitoba and the CFIA's position on the transport border crossing protocol, the importance of good biosecurity practices becomes clear, like e.g.:
- Ensure that the trailers allowed on-farm have been thoroughly washed, disinfected and dried;
- Exercise extreme vigilance with trailers coming back from assembly yards (known hotbeds for all swine diseases) and other major collection points;
- Ensure that people coming onto a farm site follow strict biosecurity guidelines;
- For trailers returning from the US, request that a second wash and a complete dry be done in Canada at a trusted facility; and
- All producers are encouraged to work with their veterinarian to review their biosecurity plans and ensure that their herds have the best practical protection from PEDv and other diseases.