Biosecurity Key to Containing Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

May 27, 2024

A veterinary pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine suggests biosecurity protocols in place to protect pigs from diseases such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea and African Swine Fever will help guard against the introduction of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.The detection of Influenza A type H5N1 virus, or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, in milk, in dairy cattle and in goats in the United States in March, and one case of a dairy farm worker testing positive, has demonstrated the ability of the virus to adapt to mammals.

Dr. Susan Detmer, an associate professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says the key to containing the infection is biosecurity.

Quote-Dr. Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:

With pig production and our pork producers, we have pretty strong biosecurity.We've been dealing PED for the last several years and a lot of what we're doing to keep PED out has upped their biosecurity game and that is going to keep other pathogens out as well.

What they need to be concerned about is making sure that they don't slip up, that they're constantly making sure they're doing everything they can to protect what they have on their farm.That is always consideration.Their vigilance has not dropped in the last few years because we're also still concerned about ASF or African Swine Fever.

That is something that both the U.S. and Canada pork producers want to keep out because it will have severe effects on our herds and our meat production.
So everything they're doing now, just keep vigilant, do what you can do and at this point we should be able to get through this.

Dr. Detmer says the strain that has impacted U.S. dairy cattle is being brought under control but if, it is present in migrating birds returning to Canada, the concern is our farm animals could be exposed.

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