Federal government investing in Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

Dec 19, 2014

Money will target two diseases discovered in pigs and cattle

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

The federal government continues to invest in Canada’s agriculture community with a $260,000 boost to the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board (Sask Pork).

The funds will focus on two specific diseases:

Brachyspira hampsonii
This disease, recently discovered in Western Canada, is similar to swine dysentery. Pigs infected with it will experience diarrhea and colitis.  Symptoms can include twitching tails, abdominal discomfort, and reduced appetite and will affect feeding and growth rates.

Bovine genital campylobacteriosis (BCG)
The disease sometimes just known as vibriosis, can significantly reduce pregnancy rates in cattle. A recent outbreak in Saskatchewan dropped pregnancy rates by 16% - 62%. Adult cattle suffering from vibriosis may show signs of anorexia and infertility.

The studies will be conducted by a team from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, with support from Sask Pork and the province’s Cattlemen’s Association. The research will focus on diagnostics, surveillance and trials involving live pigs and cattle.

Brachyspira hampsonii is an emerging swine disease in western Canada which needs to be better understood and controlled because it is very hard to eliminate from a herd when infected,” said Florian Possberg, Sask Pork’s Chairman. “BCG also has the potential to seriously reduce the calf crop in the important western cattle herd, so we welcome the AgriInnovation Program funding to develop products to control these serious threats.”

The money is being given as part of Growing Forward 2, the five year, $3 billion total investment from federal, provincial, and territorial governments to boost government agricultural programs.

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