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Manitoba nearing PED-free status
Manitoba nearing PED-free status

All but four sites infected in the 2017 outbreak have almost eradicated the disease.

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Only four of the 80 sites affected by the 2017 Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) outbreak remain positive for the disease, according to Manitoba Pork.

The other 76 farms from across southeastern Manitoba have achieved, or are close to reaching, a presumptive negative status, a Farmscape article said Monday.

Jenelle Hamblin, the manager of swine health programs with Manitoba Pork, made the announcement at the 2018 Manitoba Pork annual general meeting in Winnipeg last week.

The 2017 outbreak began in April, and the number of infections peaked in June and July. Producers reported the final cases near the end of October, she said.

The outbreak affected many aspects of an operation, including production, finances and producer mental health.

“We are producers and it’s in our blood to do the best for our animals,” Hamblin said to Farms.com today.

“When you have something as devastating (as PED) go through your barn and you have animal losses, it is really tough to deal with that.”

So, with the province nearly the eradication of the disease, it brings peace of mind to the entire industry, she said.

In total, 64 of the effected swine premises have reached presumptive negative status, she reported. This status means that the animals, contact areas and barns have all tested negative for the virus.

Another 12 operations remain in the transitional status, meaning the producers have removed all previously infected animals and are cleaning their sites, Hamblin said in the release. These producers are working towards the presumptive negative status.

Four sites, however, have still tested positive for the disease, the article said.

“We are very pleased with the eradication efforts that the sector as a whole has put into place and I would just like to applaud them for those efforts,” Hamblin said at the meeting.

Many factors played a role in eradicating PED from the province. These efforts include high biosecurity at the barn level and the separation of infected premises from other people and equipment, she said.

“It was a great form of collaboration. (Producers) fought the virus out of the province. … Hopefully by the end of May, we see a full eradication from our previous positive sites,” Hamblin said to Farms.com.  

Risk awareness (at the barn, during transport and at the abattoir) has also helped, Hamblin added. Industry stakeholders heightened biosecurity measures along the production and processing chains. 

UPDATED April 11, 2018