Deadly Pig Virus Hits Ontario Farm

Jan 23, 2014

PED Case Found on Middlesex County Hog Farm

By Amanda Brodhagen,


The news broke out on Twitter this afternoon that there is a confirmed case of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) on an Ontario farm in Middlesex County.

Stewart Skinner, a pig farmer from Perth County tweeted out that Dr. Marty Miesner, a vet from Ontario shared the news to a crowd of hog farmers attending the Banff Pork Seminar in Banff, Alberta. According to Skinner’s tweets, Dr. Miesner said that the farm has been locked down and steps are being taken to see if it has spread further. It’s unknown how the farm got infected.  It was a closed swine herd.

Until now, PED had only been confirmed in the U.S. where it has killed more than 1 million pigs in 22 states since the first report came out May 17, 2013. PED is not a new disease, and has been in Europe since the 1970s. Most recently, PED has been an issue in Asia. The U.S. strain of the disease is said to be very similar to the Chinese strain. Currently, there is no treatment for PED and no effective vaccines. It should be noted that PED is not a food safety issue and poses no risk to human health.

In an interview with Skinner shares his reaction about the news. “It’s very disappointing that there is a confirmed case…because of the hard work done by Ontario Pork and our vet community we were able to detect it quickly,” he said.

While Skinner was disappointed, he wasn’t surprised that PED has been detected in Ontario. “The industry was very much of the opinion that it was not a case of if we can keep it out, but how long …that question has been answered now,” explains Skinner.

Being the optimist that he is, Skinner says the industry should not stop its efforts in mitigating the spread. “Just because it’s here we can’t stop what we’ve been doing,” he said.

Ontario Pork has been vigilant in trying to prevent the chances of PED coming to Ontario. They’ve spent $40,000 on a truck audit project looking at gaps in the transportation system between Canada and the U.S. The review is expected to be completed this spring. The commodity group has also sunk in about $100,000 in a working committee aimed at assessing biosecurity measures and communicating with various industry stakeholders.

“The fact that they’ve [Ontario Pork] been able to identify and respond so quickly gives me a lot of confidence in the work that they’ve been doing,” Skinner concludes.


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