canadian swine health

Preventing the Spread of Swine Epidemic Diarrhea in Canada: National Strategy

CPSC’s national strategy on measures to prevent swine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is in action and is calling for the attention of all stakeholders in the swine industry.

Since the cause of the PED outbreak detected in mid-May in the US Midwest remains a mystery, Canadian industry is taking proactive steps to prevent the spread in Canada. The virus detected is an aggressive strain, which causes generalized watery diarrhea in all ages, leading to a mortality rate of up to 100% in unweaned piglets. Other types of pigs can also be affected, although to a lesser extent. US experts are seeking to pinpoint the source of the outbreak, and detailed questionnaires from US veterinary services should help answer the questions more precisely. PSAB is in periodic communication with our colleagues in the United States on the subject.

This is the first time that this disease has raged in North America, and therefore the Canadian herd is in no way immune to the virus. As a result, Canadian industry would suffer catastrophic economic losses if this disease spread to Canada.

CPSC’s Canadian Swine Health Surveillance Network (CNPHS) offers Canada a unique opportunity to monitor swine health across the country. Fortunately, data from CNPHS continue to indicate that the Canadian herd remains free of any sign of PED.

“Protecting the Canadian herd against this disease threat is critically important to the success of our industry,” said Florian Possberg, President of CPSC. “We all have a role to play, and the strong response from Canadian industry demonstrates its interest in doing whatever it takes to avoid the worst. “

PSAB was established to take a leadership role in mitigating risks to swine health in Canada. As such, PSAB immediately notified industry of the threat of PED, and took a concerted approach to bring together industry partners to develop a national strategy to address the threat. Much has already been done, and further measures have been identified to help ensure Canada remains PED-free.

The national DEP strategy includes among others:

  • Increased Biosecurity: Effective biosecurity is key to stemming the spread of this disease, including introducing animals from healthy herds, ensuring that trucks are clean and equipment is free of contamination, and that know the quality and source of all incoming food ingredients. Several bulletins and technical updates provide key information; they are available at on this site .
  • Effective surveillance: In addition to the important surveillance of herds through the RCSSP, increased surveillance must be carried out. Producers are fot includes informed producers and to report any unusual signs of strongly recommended to contact their veterinarian if they detect any signs of the disease and to participate in RCSSP, via their veterinarian. Producers and veterinarians can learn about the many benefits of participating in CNPHS by contacting Dr. Chris Byra, Manager of CNPHS, at .
  • Continuous Information Update: PSAB provides a free daily electronic update on swine health news. Especially now all industry stakeholders should receive this update to ensure they have the latest DEP news. We cannot protect ourselves against a threat we do not know about. Subscribe to electronic updates on CPSC news at .
  • A Risk Analysis: While fundamental initiatives to mitigate this threat are already underway, a national risk analysis will provide key details on how to further protect the Canadian herd. Some PED risk assessments are already underway, and systematically addressing these factors nationally is critical. Aspects concerning diagnostic capacities in Canada, the financial impacts on producers and on the value chain are also assessed.
  • A disease control plan: A response strategy must be put in place so that a specific plan is in place, and deployed immediately, in the event that PED is detected in Canada. The components of this plan include bio-containment to prevent the spread and strategies to contain the disease.

This PED strategy will continue to be revised and improved as more information about the disease and its spread becomes known. All stakeholders in the Canadian pork industry are encouraged to actively participate in this collaborative national strategy.

Special updates

July 11, 2013 – OTTAWA, Ontario – PSAB Launches PED Information Webpage
Read News Release »

June 14, 2013 – OTTAWA, Ontario – Preventing the Spread of Swine Epidemic Diarrhea in Canada: National Strategy
Read the press release »

June 6, 2013 – OTTAWA, Ontario – CPC and PSAB Take Action to Address Virus Threat
Read the press release »

May 31, 2013 – OTTAWA, Ontario – CCP and CPSC urge producers to review and intensify their existing biosecurity measures to prevent the outbreak of swine epidemic diarrhea virus in Canadian facilities
Read the press release from hurry “

May 26, 2013 – OTTAWA, Ontario – Update on Swine Epidemic Diarrhea
Read the press release »

May 21, 2013 – OTTAWA, Ontario – SPECIAL UPDATE – Swine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus
Read the press release »

For more information on porcine epidemic diarrhea:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

American Association of Swine Veterinarians

National Pork Board

United States Department of Agriculture

Sante Porcine
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