Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has infected 10 southeastern Manitoba hog operations since April 29 and producers of the estimated 45 other operations within five kilometres of those barns are on high alert.
Dr. Glen Duizer of the Manitoba chief veterinary office, said June 2 that six infected farms, two of them farrow operations and four that are finishers, are in the area that had a PED outbreak last year. Three other infected operations comprising two farrow and one finisher, are in a second area that experienced outbreaks in both 2014 and 2016.
The 10th case is outside both those areas but had contact via animal movement with the second infected area, he said.
“All of the infected sites are under biocontainment and control procedures. They are at various stages of cleanup and moving forward with taking infected animals off those sites,” said Duizer.
“In the cases of the finisher operations, the vast majority of those animals are being moved to the U.S. for slaughter to avoid contaminating our packing plants here in Manitoba.”
Cull sows from farrowing operations are also being moved directly to U.S. packing plants and are not going through Manitoba assembly yards.
Investigations on how the virus arrived or reoccurred and how it was spread from farm to farm are ongoing.
Hog supplies to Manitoba processing plants run by Maple Leaf Foods and HyLife remain adequate, Andrew Dickson, general manager of Manitoba Pork, told Reuters
Manitoba ships large volumes of young pigs, called feeders, to the United States. Canada has exported 1.8 million feeder pigs to the United States in 2017 as of May 20, up two percent from a year earlier, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Canada is the world’s biggest swine exporter, mostly to the United States.
Manitoba’s neighbouring province of Ontario has confirmed three PED cases this year, down from 14 in all of 2016, government spokesperson Kristy Denette said.