Livestock briefs

OlySky loses barn, 
hogs in fire

The cause of a fire that destroyed a pig barn west of Lanigan, Sask., March 31 may never be known for certain, but an electrical problem is the prime suspect, said Dave Needham of Emergency Management and Fire Safety in Saskatoon.

OlySky owned the barn where approximately 3,500 young pigs died, mainly from smoke inhalation.

Humboldt-Lanigan RCMP and the Lanigan Fire Department arrived shortly after 6 p.m. March 31. Smoke was coming out of the eaves of the barn and fire soon followed.

Needham said the fire started in the southeast corner of the metal clad barn, built about 1995, where there’s an electrically operated ventilation fan and an automated feeding system.

“If any one of them seized up, that certainly could have caused the fire and that’s really the only credible sources of ignition in that corner where the fire started,” he said.

 

Anaplasmosis now notifiable disease

Anaplasmosis, which affects cattle, sheep, goats and wild ruminants, is now an immediately notifiable disease as designated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency instead of a reportable disease.

The CFIA announced its plan to change the designation in February 2013. It became official April 1. The change means the CFIA will no longer respond to anaplasmosis cases or conduct surveillance to verify Canada’s status regarding the disease.

The change in status is welcomed by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, which has been asking for it for years. CCA general manager Rob McNabb has said anaplasmosis is more of a production limiting disease than one that affects trade or poses a major threat to herd health.

In its explanation for the change, the CFIA said anaplasmosis is well established in the United States, so it is unlikely Canada can eradicate it within its own borders.

The disease is caused by a micro-organism most commonly spread by ticks and biting flies. It attacks red blood cells. Anaplasmosis presents no risk to human health or food safety.