By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
After a meeting with provincial and territorial agricultural ministers, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced Wednesday that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will allow veterinarians to import a vaccine from the United States to deal with the pig-killing virus, porcine epidemic diarrhea or PED.
Thursday’s meeting was meant to address the growing concerns of PED. While the iPED + vaccine is new, preliminary studies have shown pigs that receive the vaccine develop antibodies against the virus. Harrisvaccines Inc. based in Ames, Iowa manufactures the vaccine.
PED is a highly contagious virus among swine, which has killed about 1 to 3 million pigs in the United States since last spring. The virus has since spread to Canada. The first confirmed case was found on a farm in Middlesex County, Ont.
“Today’s announcement is another step in the CFIA’s continuous efforts to work with the provinces to prevent PED from spreading in Canada,” Ritz said in a news release.
Government officials say that pig farmers should contact their attending veterinarian about accessing the vaccine. Veterinarians can apply for an import permit immediately.