PED cases abnormally high this winter, says Manitoba Pork

There’s a rising number of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) cases in Manitoba’s hog population.

The numbers are so high in fact, that Cam Dahl, general manager of the Manitoba Pork Council, has deemed the issue to be a “general outbreak.”

“Normally, this is a disease that we see spread in late spring or summer, a little bit in the fall, but usually in the past when we get into fall and winter, the danger has passed us by,” explains Dahl.

This year, the numbers are peaking in winter, which has never happened before, says Dahl, counting 60 cases, with no signs of slowing down or containing the disease.

“It’s a difficult situation for producers that are farrowing pigs and have an infection, those pigs need to be euthanized because it’s universally fatal for young pigs,” says Dahl.

Rigid application of biosecurity for all workers or contractors coming onto a farm is the only solution, says Dahl, adding that limiting contact will also be key.

While the virus doesn’t impact humans through consuming pork products, it does seriously impact producers’ bottom line.

When asked about African swine fever, the threat is undeniable and Dahl says that controlling the wild pig population may be the first step in reducing the threat of ASF to Canadian producers. “It is getting closer, it’s in the Caribbean now, we’re seeing it spread throughout Europe,” says Dahl. “There is more that we can do but governments and the industry are really, really hinged on the subject.”

Hear the full conversation with Dahl and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney: