Prioritizing swine health in 2019

Prioritizing swine health in 2019
Dec 27, 2018

Producers should focus on maintaining healthy herds  

Staff Writer
Members of the Canadian pork sector should continue to focus on swine health in 2019 to help prevent disease outbreaks.
Indeed, producers should be particularly vigilant due to concerns about African swine fever (ASF), Casey Smit, chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, said in a Farmscape article today. 
“Farms here in Canada are much more attuned to what it takes to secure their facilities in terms of entry into the facilities, washing vehicles, (and) drying vehicles,” Smit said in the article. “I think the level of awareness that we have about the biosecurity needs and requirements that we have in place … help us to maintain (herd health) and (protect us) against possible infection from ASF.”
China initially confirmed its outbreak of ASF in August. The disease has since spread across the country, sparking concern that it could also enter North America.
In Canada, producers are battling Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED). Recently, for example, Manitoba reported cases but farmers have kept the virus contained. PED has not spread to Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, showing Manitoba’s commitment to biosecurity, Smit said in the article.
“I think producers are much more aware of the risks, of what PED can do to the industry and I think we're much better positioned to ensure that our biosecurity is as high as it possibly can be to hopefully prevent ASF from arriving on our shores,” Smit said.
Producers must prioritize maintaining a healthy herd, Smit added.
Farmers can help to ensure the health and welfare of their animals by working closely with their herd veterinarians, an Ontario Pork spokesperson told today. 
Biosecurity is also paramount, Ontario Pork said.
“Producers routinely evaluate biosecurity protocols with farm staff and visitors. These protocols are preventative measures to reduce the risk of the transfer of disease. In the case of ASF, biosecurity protocols include no contact with swine in other countries where ASF infections have been detected and (reviewing) how to correctly abide by on-farm biosecurity measures.”
If producers suspect their animals are sick, they should contact their herd veterinarians immediately.
Updated Dec. 27, 2018.
Jevtic/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo 
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