By Bruce Cochrane
The general manager of Manitoba Pork expects the fledgling Western Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network to be fully operational within a matter of months.
Pork producer councils in the four western provinces in partnership with the Offices of the Provincial Chief Veterinary Officers have established a Western Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network to assume the responsibility of swine health surveillance in western Canada.
Manitoba Pork general manager Andrew Dickson explains a computer network will allow veterinarians to submit swine health information which will be used to provide a clearer picture of what's happening with the spread of disease.
Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:
It's a very unique region.
We have British Columbia on the other side of the Rockies, we have Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and then we have this big break at the Ontario border and we have a limited number of ports of entry with the U.S. so when you look at it from a disease perspective it actually forms a unique region within North America where we can control diseases.
When you look at what happened for example with circovirus, it never really moved much from Ontario into the west because it has to be transported in some way and because we don't have a lot of transportation with Ontario that didn't happen.
On PEDv we've been able to control the spread.
Because we don't have a lot of traffic with Ontario so there wasn't much coming from there or a threat from there but the real threat was from the United States but with these ports of entry we can make some effort to try and control the movement of disease.
This information network which we've set up on our computerized system at Manitoba Pork Council will provide a software application that veterinarians will use in the field to input information and that information will be accumulated, analyzed and reports developed to go back out to practicing veterinarians.
Dickson says parts of the system are in place now and the hope is to have the network fully operational within the next couple of months.