The Manager of the Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network is advising pork producers to take steps to ensure their pigs are not exposed to wildlife or wild bird carcasses or the droppings from wild birds.
H5N1, a highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, that kills poultry has been confirmed across Canada.
Dr. Jette Christensen, the Manager of the Canada West Swine health Intelligence Network, says this is the biggest outbreak of Avian Influenza she has seen in 20 years in Canada and the western provinces have been particularly hard hit.
Clip-Dr. Jette Christensen-Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network:
There are a lot of wild birds that have died due to this Avian Influenza.
It's a very hot and hard virus.
It really kills poultry very fast and what we've seen is that some mammals have been infected, possibly eating carcasses from infected birds or other mammals.
I want to stress that, so far, there's been no reports of swine being infected with this particular Avian Influenza virus but the fact is that other mammals have been infected so there's no reason in my mind that it couldn't happen to pigs as well.
So, it's absolutely critical that all swine producers make sure that their pigs have no contact with carcasses of wildlife and wild birds, that they keep wild bird droppings or anything that could be contaminated with wild bird droppings, keep it out of your barns.
We really don't want to be famous because we get the first pig infected with this virus.
Although this H5N1 strain of Avian Influenza presents a danger to poultry, there is no evidence to suggest that eating cooked poultry or eggs could transmit the virus to humans.Source : Farmscape.ca