Biosecurity Key to Keeping HPAI Out of Swine Farms

May 13, 2024

A veterinary pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine suggests biosecurity procedures in place on Canadian swine farms to protect against the introduction of foreign animal disease will help protect against other infections, including Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza.

In March USDA reported Influenza A type H5N1 virus, known as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, was detected in milk and in dairy cattle in Texas and Kansas and, since then, detections have been confirmed in dairy herds in other states, in baby goats and one dairy farm worker has tested positive for the virus.
Dr. Susan Detmer, an associate professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says introduction of the infection has been attributed to migrating wild birds returning to North America.

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

The dairy cattle are recovering and, as far as humans that are in contact with the infected cattle, right now they're looking at those humans and testing for antibodies and we'll have a lot of information in the next six months about the humans that have been in contact with dairy cattle.So far there have not been reports of people becoming severely sick from being in contact with dairy cattle.

With pig production, we have pretty strong biosecurity.We've been dealing with 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 they don't lose that good biosecurity, that they don't slip up, that they're constantly making sure that they're doing everything they can to protect what they have on their farm.Their vigilance has not dropped in the last few years because we're also still concerned about ASF or African Swine fever.

Dr. Detmer stresses it is everyone's responsibility to ensure that we do not make Avian Influenza easier to get into our human population.

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