A statement on Alberta Pork Producers Development Corporation (Alberta Pork) confirmed the outbreak, which is the first-ever reported in the province.
It was found in a 400-head hog operation and Alberta Pork said it was working closely with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to fully investigate this outbreak and prevent the disease from spreading further.
The disease causes diarrhoea and vomiting in pigs, but poses no risk to human health. This incident has not caused any food safety concerns, and pork products reportedly remain safe for consumption. The virus is spread by the faecal-oral route, with the most common source being infected faeces coming onto a farm with various surfaces that can transmit the virus. In nursing pigs, PED can cause up to 100% mortality.
The first case of PED in Canada was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in January 2014 on a swine farm in Ontario. Since then, PED has also been reported in Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
On social media, the Canadian Pork Council’s veterinary counsellor Dr Egan Brockhoff advised “discussion” amongst relevant parties regarding the situation.
PED Virus has been confirmed on a farm in Alberta. It is critical that everyone takes a moment to discuss #biosecurity with their farm team, transport team and dead stock pick up.— Egan Brockhoff (@EganBrockhoff) January 8, 2019
Alberta Pork said: “Strict biosecurity protocols are of utmost importance in limiting the impact of disease in agriculture. It is especially critical, during this outbreak, that producers consider enhancing biosecurity on-farm and in animal transportation. Producers are encouraged to submit all swine manifests, including farm-to-farm movements, in a timely manner.
“Any place off-farm, such as an abattoir, should be considered as a potential source for bringing disease to your herd. Producers are reminded to review their farms’ biosecurity policies regularly and consult Alberta Pork or your herd veterinarian as required.”