The process to follow in consultation with your vet to overcome a PED infection
This year, by the first week of May, the Canadian swine industry reported four cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) in Alberta, nine cases in Ontario and two cases in Manitoba. Early in the year, Quebec also had its first case since May 2015.
These disease events demonstrate that, although Canada is not experiencing a rapidly spreading outbreak, the risk of PED still looms.
Once a veterinarian and producer identify the disease on a premises, they can face a steep learning curve. However, the veterinary community and pork industry stakeholders have worked very hard to share information to help producers, veterinarians and other industry partners avoid the struggles associated with a PED outbreak.
To help with these ongoing education initiatives, Dr. Jessica Law of Prairie Swine Health Services provides some general information on the steps involved in a PED elimination in a breeding herd farm.
"Since every situation is unique, it is critical that you consult with your herd veterinarian if you are faced with this challenge," says Law. "In the case of a suspected PED outbreak, you and your support team should begin by initiating biocontainment and herd exposure. You may begin this process before you receive a lab diagnosis, as the technicians can take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours to confirm diagnosis after you collect samples. But the sooner the work on farm begins, the sooner you can eliminate the virus."
The biocontainment process includes, but is not limited to, stopping movement and cancelling any scheduled visits and maintenance work. Farmers should also avoid feed deliveries and deadstock pickup for as long as possible or establish a new form of deadstock disposal such as burial.
Among key advice:
"To enhance biocontainment, it is valuable to review the fundamentals of biosecurity with the use of the controlled and restricted access zones. The controlled access zone is the area around the barn, including feed bins and driveways. The restricted access zone is the barn. Specify the requirements for individuals entering and leaving each zone, such as showering and disinfecting equipment. This strategy can help minimize the movement of the virus off the premises."
"Once the vet confirms PED, you should enact full biocontainment, if you have not already. You must have an up-to-date list of all contacts with whom you deal to minimize the risk of disease spread to other sites. This list should include the feed company, the primary processor, the genetic supplier of both semen and live animals, the agency who handles deadstock pickup and transporters. Consider any other suppliers or processors who may come into contact with your pigs."