By Bruce Cochrane
The manager of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network says efforts to control the spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea have helped reduce the spread of other diseases that affect pigs.
In an effort to reduce the impact of disease the Canadian pork industry has been focussing on improved biosecurity and, with the discovery of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea in North America in May 2013, that effort has been elevated to a new higher level.
Dr. Chris Byra, the manager of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network, says producers have paid particularly close attention to ensuring transport vehicles are free of infection before coming onto their farms and that stepped up biosecurity has also had a dramatic impact on the spread of other infections.
Dr. Chris Byra-Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network:
All the steps we're taking in terms of biosecurity and processes to ensure that vehicles are clean and so on will make the entire Canadian industry more robust to any new emerging challenge.
The only group of diseases that we probably are not directly affecting by what we are doing would be the ones that are spread by aerosol as well but, for any other disease that moves on animals or on people or on vehicles, we're developing systems to not let them into barns and so it puts our industry at an advantage once it's completely set up to be able to control these diseases so it's a very positive step in any case.
This disease has given context for why we're doing biosecurity.
So producers that were sort of reluctant or really didn't think it made much difference, today they're willing to do it and I think they're developing new habits.
Dr. Byra says producers are pleased to have a reprieve in the summer to get their facilities and protocols in order so that in the fall when the risk of PED will probably increase they'll have a fighting chance of keeping it out.
He notes there are farms in the U.S. that have been very successful at not getting the virus in their barns in spite of being surrounded by pigs with it.