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PED detected for first time in Canada

9th Jan 2019 / By Alistair Driver

A new case of the deadly pig disease porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) has been detected in Canada. 

While Canada has reported a number of outbreaks of PED over the years, this latest case in a 400-head pig operation is the first time it has been found in Alberta. 

Alberta Pork, which runs the farm said it was is working closely with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to fully investigate this outbreak and prevent the disease from spreading further.

The first case of PED in Canada was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in January 2014 on a swine farm in Ontario. Since then, PED has also been reported in Manitoba, where more than 100 premises have been affected,  Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

The disease, which is notifiable in England, causes diarrhea and vomiting in pigs and can result in 100% mortality for infected herds. It has caused major problems in the US  as well as in various Asian countries, including Korea, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand.

The virus is spread by the fecal-oral route, with the most common source being infected feces coming onto a farm with various surfaces that can transmit the virus. 

Alberta Pork stressed that strict biosecurity protocols are of 'utmost importance in limiting the impact of disease in agriculture'. "It is especially critical during this outbreak that producers consider enhancing biosecurity on-farm and in animal transportation. Producers are encouraged to submit all swine manifests, including farm-to-farm movements, in a timely manner," it said.

"Any place off-farm, such as an abattoir, should be considered as a potential source for bringing disease to your herd. Producers are reminded to review their farms’ biosecurity policies regularly and consult Alberta Pork or your herd veterinarian as required."

The disease does not pose any risk to human health and this incident has not caused any food safety concerns, the company added.

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