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Manitoba PED outbreak may have started with a cull sow transport vehicle

There are currently 59 infected premises in the province

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Officials with Manitoba Agriculture gave insight into the potential origin of the outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) in the province.

“There is a linkage to a cull sow transport vehicle,” Dr. Glen Duizer, an animal health veterinarian with the Office of Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Officer, told a telephone town hall hosted by Alberta Pork on Wednesday. “We cannot say for certain that (vehicle) was the source, (but) I have to stress that it’s certainly one of the most likely reasons (a farm on May 2, the first reported case in 2017) became infected.”

As of the town hall conference call, there’s been 59 confirmed cases of PED across Manitoba hog farms (22 sow herds, 13 nurseries and four finisher operations). Currently, over 67,000 sows are on infected premises.

And transportation remains one of the challenges to managing such a widespread outbreak.

“We will need to have additional finisher space to in order to accommodate the number of pigs from infected premises,” Dr. Duizer said. “There will be scenarios where pigs from infected premises will have to go to non-infected premises for finishing simply because we’re likely to run out of finisher space.”

A protocol is being created to ensure animals are as clean as possible before moving to a non-infected premises, he said.

Producers should also revisit and possibly tighten their biosecurity measures to make sure the disease doesn’t spread to other properties, Dr. Duizer said.

“Perhaps there’s a couple of premises that do all of their work together,” he said. “Where it makes sense normally that staff can be shared, it doesn’t make sense during an outbreak. Even in some cases having to rent a trailer to have as an additional shower site (might be something to consider)."

More information on the Manitoba PED outbreak and its status can be found on the Manitoba Pork website.

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