April 10, 2014

 The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) has confirmed a small number of animals being held at a high-traffic site in western Manitoba tested positive for the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus. Based on the onset of symptoms and the CVO's preliminary investigation, it is likely the pigs were infected with PED at the high-traffic site due to environmental contamination present at that site and not on their farm of origin. As part of its investigation, the CVO will follow up with other farms and facilities that had contact with the site. The high-traffic site is fully co-operating with the CVO investigation and has taken measures to reduce the possibility of further transmission.

Facilities moving or handling large numbers of pigs are considered high-traffic sites and include livestock assembly yards, federal and provincial abattoirs, truck wash stations and livestock trailers.

Manitobans are reminded that PED is not a food safety issue and it does not affect humans. However, it can be a severe and often fatal illness in newborn and young pigs. Older animals often have less serious symptoms and generally recover.

The CVO has previously confirmed PED on a farm in southeast Manitoba and also confirmed two positive environmental samples from high-traffic sites. None are currently believed to be linked to this case.

PED is a reportable disease in Manitoba. Producers are encouraged to remain vigilant with the necessary biosecurity protocols that prevent the spread of PED and are reminded they must report all suspected cases to their veterinarian. The CVO will continue to work with the pork industry to help any affected producers eliminate the disease from their herds and prevent it from spreading. Producers who have questions about PED, biosecurity and related issues should contact the Manitoba Pork Council at 1-888-893-7447 (toll-free) or online at www.manitobapork.com for their resources and expertise.

There are now 51 farm premises that have tested positive for PED across Canada including one in Manitoba, one in Prince Edward Island, one in Quebec and 48 in Ontario. Manitoba remains in regular contact with chief veterinary officers and industry stakeholders across the country on this issue.


Manitoba Pork Council advice to producers:
Producers should treat any high traffic area for pigs as potentially contaminated and follow the strict protocols for biosecurity, as described in the Guidelines developed by the Canadian Swine Health Board, for trailers returning from such facilities.