Alberta Agriculture confirmed the province’s third and fourth cases Friday
By Diego Flammini
A disease that can be devastating to swine operations has spread to another Alberta farm.
Alberta Agriculture confirmed the presence of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) on two more farms on Friday before Alberta Pork issued a statement yesterday that one of the samples resulted in a false positive.
“The investigative laboratory identified the virus in a sample, but pigs at the formerly suspected affected premise have shown no signs of illness,” Alberta Pork said in the statement. “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.”
Alberta Agriculture didn’t disclose the locations of either the farm with the disease or the one with the false positive result.
The location of the operations with the disease wasn’t disclosed.
Neighbouring provinces are watching the situation closely.
Saskatchewan’s pork industry is ready to act accordingly, said Neil Ketilson, general manager of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board.
“We’re in constant contact with the people in Alberta and Manitoba,” he told Farms.com. “We haven’t had any requests from Alberta to do anything, but we are monitoring the situation. I know they’ve stopped all transportation, and if Alberta makes any other decisions I’m sure we’ll find out about it.”
Saskatchewan is home to Thunder Creek Pork, the only federal hog processing plant in the province.
The plant hasn’t been asked to process any market animals from Alberta, Ketilson said.
This article has been updated to reflect Alberta Pork’s confirmation of a false positive PED test result on a hog farm.