By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Two more Ontario hog farms have been infected by the pig-killing virus, porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) confirmed Wednesday.
PED has now been found on four Ontario swine operations, including farms in Middlesex, Norfolk and Chatham-Kent counties. The first case of the disease in Canada was discovered last week on a farm in Middlesex County.
Ontario’s PED Cases
- First case in Middlesex County – 500 operation (sow, farrow-to-finish)
- Second case in Chatham-Kent - 3,000 operation (wean-to-finish)
- Third case in Chatham-Kent 1,800 operation (wean-to-finish)
- Fourth case in Norfolk County – 500 (sow, farrow-to-finish)
"Given the virulent nature of this virus, it is disappointing, but not unexpected that PED would be found in Canada and it is likely that more cases will be identified in the coming days and weeks," said Mark Cripps, a spokesman for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
The news of the growing number of PED cases comes only a day after Premier Kathleen Wynne pledged $2 million in immediate funding to help Ontario pork strengthen its bio-security measures at various critical points throughout the province, aimed at slowing the spread of the disease.
Cold weather is making efforts to mitigate the spread of PED more difficult, as it’s almost impossible to clean, disinfect and dry a truck in frigid temperatures. The virus thrives in the winter months.
Pig farmers in the U.S. have been dealing with PED since last May. The virus has spread to 2,000 farms in 22 different states, with Iowa having the largest amount of outbreaks. The virus is believed to have originally come from China.
PED is a pig virus, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration in all ages of pigs. The virus is almost 100 percent fatal for piglets, while older animals typically recover from the illness. The virus poses no threat to humans, or other animals, and is not a food safety risk.
Hog farmers are asked to review their biosecurity protocols and to contact their veterinarian immediately if they see any clinical signs of illness in their swine herds.
Ministry officials plan to have OMAF’s website updated daily with a designated link providing new developments and information about PED.
Ontario PEDv Timeline
- Jan. 22 – Middlesex County, Ont. pig farm showed clinical signs of PEDv
- Jan. 23 – First Canadian case of PEDv (Middlesex County farm) confirmed and made public
- Jan. 24 – Federal lab upholds University of Guelph lab’s initial tests from Middlesex County pig farm
- Jan. 24 –25 – Chatham-Kent County farm showed clinical signs of PEDv
- Jan. 25-26 – University of Guelph lab test confirmed positive for PEDv from the Chatham-Kent farm
- Jan. 25-26 – Third farm (investigation ongoing) showed clinical signs of the virus
- Jan. 27– Second confirmed and third case under investigation were made public
- Jan. 29 – Two more PED cases were identified in Chatham-Kent and Norfolk County