More PED found on Alberta hog farms

Updated – March 4, 2019 – 1430 CST – Alberta Pork has updated their announcement made last week to note the third reported case of PED has been found to be a “false positive.”

The third and fourth cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in Alberta were announced by Alberta Pork mere hours apart March 1.

“As of now, we can confirm three outbreaks of PED in Alberta in 2019: one announced in January, one announced in February and one announced in March,” Alberta Pork said in a news release March 4.

The location of the most recent case was not disclosed. The first case, reported in January, was in a central Alberta location and the second premises affected was reported to be far away from the first one. Details on proximity of the third location was not provided.

“The investigative laboratory identified the virus in a sample, but pigs at the formerly-suspected affected premise have shown no signs of illness.

“False positives are infrequent but can be expected occasionally in disease investigations, due to the sensitivity and concern for positive results. We apologize for any confusion or alarm caused by last week’s earlier announcement.”

The source of infection in any of the cases has not yet been found, although investigations by the provincial veterinary office continue.

“Strict biosecurity protocols are of utmost importance in limiting the impact of disease in agriculture,” Alberta Pork said in a news release.

“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.”

Alberta Pork also encouraged producers to consult their herd veterinarians to review biosecurity and minimize risk of their herds contracting PED.

PED virus poses no threat to human health or to food safety. However, it is almost always fatal to young piglets and affects production in older animals.

Contact barb.glen@producer.com

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