Posts Tagged ‘biosecurity’

Cooler temperatures are on the way, and it is important to review your biosecurity practices and procedures on farm.  Whether it is PED or other pathogens, ensuring strict on-farm biosecurity protocols will help you prevent infection and keep your pigs healthy.

Proper biosecurity measures should include protocols that address animal, supply and personnel movements. Take the time to review the policies and procedures with staff, highlighting the importance of biosecurity for your herd.

Set up Controlled and Restricted Access zones on your property, and make sure they are well signed to prevent non-authorized entry.

When it comes to farm access, all vehicles should be clean and free from manure. If a vehicle has been at another farm site, make sure it is washed properly before arriving. This is especially true for trucks and trailers. Ensure clothing and footwear coming on site is clean and has not been on other farms, and make use of a visitor log book to track who has been on your property and when.

At a minimum, set up and use a Danish Entry or other comparable system with a hand wash station for any personnel movement in and out of the barn. Designated boots and clothing should be available and used. Where possible, make use of a shower in/shower out system. Do not wear barn clothing or boots outside.

When bringing in supplies and equipment take appropriate precautions such as disinfection and removal from shipping boxes where appropriate. Ensure you have an effective rodent and pest control program in place, and use screens for bird control. Do not allow pets in barns as they can also be a vector for disease transfer.

Although the cold and snow are fast approaching, don’t let your biosecurity guard down. Be vigilant and keep your herd protected and healthy!


Detailed information on biosecurity practices and procedures can be found on the OMAFRA livestock website at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/swine/health.html.

Biosecurity ‘STOP’ signs and visitor log books can be ordered by contacting the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

For more information, contact:
Laura Eastwood, Ph.D
Swine Specialist, OMAFRA



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From a release by OAHN:

The Ontario Animal Health Network has released its new website, which provides a home for animal health information for veterinarians, producers and owners. OAHN.ca features a sign-in area for veterinarians, where they can access survey results and reports to keep on top of animal health patterns in Ontario. For producers, the site features resources, reports, and species specific information. In addition, the website features podcasts, contact information and helpful links and videos for vets, producers, pet owners, and industry experts.

For Vets: How to Sign-Up

If you are a veterinarian that wishes to sign up for access to reports, please click the login/register button on Oahn.ca and fill out the appropriate information. You will be notified upon approval, and when you sign in, you will have access to all veterinarian-only resources and reports. Approvals will be made from Monday to Friday. Weekend registrations will be approved the following Monday morning.

Other Resources

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OntarioAnimalHealthNetwork

Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/OntAnHealthNet

Through these resources we provide updates on OAHN, information and links for Ontario animal health and disease, OMAFRA and CFIA alerts, and informational and educational articles for vets and owners/producers. Posts are made throughout the day, so there is always information for followers to share.

Podcasts: http://oahn.podbean.com/ – Our podcasts cover everything from animal disease to updates from different industry groups to tips for veterinarians in practice. These are fairly short, educational podcasts that are meant for veterinarians and people on the go.

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Centralia 2015 logo smallOn Wednesday January 28th the 34th annual Centralia Swine Research Update will be held at the Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre in Kirkton. This year the feature speaker is Dr. Lisa Becton, Director, Swine Health Information and Research, US National Pork Board. Dr. Becton will be speaking on Preparing For The Next Emerging Disease / Lessons Learned From PED. Dr. Becton will also provide an update on PED cases occurring across the US, and review research they have conducted on feed, manure and other areas.

To round out the program, Ontario researchers and graduate students will cover topics on Zinc & Anti-Microbial Resistance, Dynamics of Nitrogen Retention in Gestating Sows, Improving sow productivity through genetics and genomics, Pain Control in Pigs, Swine influenza in nursery pigs and more.

The Centralia Swine Research Update was initiated in 1982 by staff at Centralia College to bring researchers and their work together with participants in the pork industry. The event continues to be planned and executed by a committee of industry partners, with support from OMAFRA staff. Its success over the past three decades is due to the quality and timeliness of the program, and the participation of local researchers and experts, as well as experts brought in from other parts of Canada or the US.

Registration is $20 if you’re a producer or a student, or $40 for industry reps and includes refreshments, hot pork meal and proceedings.

Registration deadline is Friday Jan 23.

For more information visit www.centraliaswineresearch.ca or phone 519 271- 0119.

Hope to see you at the Centralia Swine Research Update on Jan 28 in Kirkton.

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Good biosecurity is the best way to keep PED out of your barn. Transporters and producers should review their transport biosecurity protocols in light of a new case of PED being diagnosed.   Two good resources are ColdWeatherTrailerDisinfection.pdf and Truck Wash Video LinkMore Transportation Biosecurity Information

Reprinted from an OPIC December 11, 2014 E-Notice:

A new PED case was diagnosed in Ontario Dec 8, 2014. The case was diagnosed at an all in/all out finishing barn in Oxford County. This case is related to the Niagara case diagnosed December 2nd. The producer and his veterinarian immediately implemented a control and elimination plan for the farm and have arranged for orderly marketing to reduce risks to the industry. They are participating in the OSHAB PED ARC&E and have notified key service providers.

The PEDV infection in this barn was introduced from a PEDV contaminated trailer. Earlier in the day, a cleaned and disinfected trailer picked up market hogs at another finisher barn within this production system in the Niagara area. After delivering market hogs to the processing plant, the back end of the trailer was scraped forward into the belly and the rear compartment was disinfected. This scraped and disinfected trailer was then used to pick up an additional load of market hogs at this barn in Oxford County. The Niagara area barn was diagnosed with PED the next day. There are no other related sites with suspect signs and all related sites has tested negative. The production system is assessing risk reduction transportation strategies.

Please review your biosecurity procedures on farm and consider your transport protocols.

Our thanks to the producer for his rapid response and transparency as we work together as an industry to control and eliminate PED cases in Ontario this fall and winter.

Lori Moser
OPIC/OSHAB/OPC Managing Director
Cell 519-577-6742 (OPIC)
Home office 519-684-6805
Fax 519-272-2215


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34th Annual Centralia Swine Research Update

Dr. Lisa Becton, Director of Swine Health Information and Research with the US National Pork Board will address “Preparing for the Next Emerging Disease/Lessons Learned from PED”, and provide an update on PED research.

Centralia 2015 logo smallWednesday, January 28th, 2015, Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre, Registration at 9:15am, Program 9:50-3:30pm.

There are also many other topics on the program including enrichment for pigs, pain control, iron requirements of piglets, and more. And even more in written reports included in the Proceedings. Registration is $20 for producers and students ($40 for industry) and includes refreshments and a hot lunch. Registration is required by January 23rd, 2015.

The full program and flyer with registration information have just been posted at www.centraliaswineresearch.ca. Thirteen years of past Proceedings are available on the website.

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A notice from Ontario Pork:

Ontario Pork is hosting a PED Telephone Town Hall on Wednesday, December 3rd between 12:00 and 1:00PM EST for the pork industry. Register here to be called for this free, live event with Ontario Pork. This call will provide an update on the current PED situation and actions being taken by the Ontario pork industry. Topics to be discussed include the following:

  • How we are keeping track of PED – truck wash, transport, assembly and processor surveillance, control and elimination progress and service provider involvement
  • Research Results
  • OMAFRA Update
  • Question and Answers

We will be automatically dialing out to our provincial producers and others who have registered for the event and have provided us with their phone numbers. Please note only direct or mobile phone numbers will be accepted.

Register Here

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Ontario has seen very few new reports on the PED front in the last months; however, given the virulence of the virus and its increased persistence in cold weather, additional cases might be expected as winter approaches.  Proper biosecurity remains the best tool to prevent the spread of this virus.  Pork producers and industry stakeholders must continue to be diligent in order to limit the impact of PED in Ontario. It’s critical that everyone follow strict biosecurity procedures at all times. These include the following:

  • Ensure all incoming pigs are from a PED negative farm.
  • Follow and enforce proper entry protocols. Dedicated barn boots and coveralls must be available for all staff and visitors. Use a Danish Entry System that allows for unidirectional flow of staff and visitors entering the barn. A hand wash or hand sanitizer should be available upon entry.
  • If using deadstock pickup, ensure carcasses are picked up off-site. Wash and disinfect equipment used to transfer carcasses from barn to deadstock bin.
  • Ensure transporters are following your farm’s protocol for trailer sanitation. A washed and disinfected trailer will reduce the risk of disease transmission to your farm. Refer to ‘Cold Weather Trailer Disinfection Procedures’ available from OPIC. Communicate biosecurity protocols to any service providers visiting your farm.
  • Refer to the National Swine Farm-level Biosecurity Standard and discuss your biosecurity plan with your veterinarian.
  • Monitor your herd for clinical signs of the disease, particularly vomiting and diarrhea. Call your veterinarian immediately with any concerns. They will advise you on what to do next.

Information on PED, including links to biosecurity protocols, and other best practices related to deadstock and manure handling, etc., are available at www.Ontario.ca/swine. You can also subscribe to this blog and follow @ONswineinfo on Twitter for updates and links to resources.

This virus is very persistent and easily travels with snow and slush. It will require a dedicated effort to keep this one under control, and off your farm, over the coming winter.

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View the original at Ontario Pork, posted Sept. 19th.

Since the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) entered Ontario in January 2014, Ontario Pork has been working together with producers, government and industry to inform, educate, research and develop strategies to help manage this disease.


  • Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) is a viral disease causing vomiting, diarrhea, and high death loss in pigs. In nursing piglets the disease can be severe with mortalities reported up to 100%. In growing pigs, there is widespread diarrhea with low mortality. It thrives in cold weather.
  • On January 22, 2014 the first case of PED was discovered in Ontario.
  • On January 28, 2014 the provincial government committed $2 million to Ontario Pork to improve biosecurity measures across the province and the federal government created a dedicated biosecurity funding stream under Growing Forward 2 specifically for the swine industry.
  • On February 9, 2014, an announcement by an Ontario feed company pointed to swine feed made with animal by-products as a possible source of entry for the disease into Canada.
  • To date there have been 63 positive cases of PEDv, one variant PED strain case as well as 7 cases of Deltacrononavirus in Ontario.

We are taking a leadership role as industry.  We have already committed significant resources to PED prevention and preparedness. Emergency support funds and flexibility within the existing government suite of programs are fundamental to the success of this plan.

  • Funds have been made available to all PED-positive producers for biosecurity assessments, diagnostic testing, and development of plans to eliminate PED from their site(s) through:
    • Provincial veterinary clinics
  • Of the 63 confirmed cases, a number of them have produced PED negative test results post biosecurity assessment, and cleanup plan. This information is being compiled and will be reported on when completed.
  • Four applied research projects have been initiated.
Survival and Transmission of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus on Single Site Farrow to Finish Farms This study of 10 single site farrow to finish farms with PED will have environmental samples collected from all major production areas to determine the presence or absence of PED.  Where all environmental samples are negative the farm will be re-sampled monthly.  A minimum of 6 farms where environmental samples test positive for PED will be enrolled in a study to determine the replication, transmission, and ecology of PED.
Comparing the Effectiveness of Common Disinfection Protocols for PED The goal of this study is to determine under what conditions disinfection of PED will consistently result in PCR negative results.  Further four commonly used disinfectants for the control of PED will be compared in this study, Virkon®, Synergize®, bleach and lime, on two different surfaces (concrete and aluminum) for three different time periods.
Development of PED control and elimination strategies for farrowing sites with growing pigs The hypothesis of this project is that PED can be controlled and eliminated from farrowing sites with growing pigs on site.  This study will involve seven sites and will assess and tabulate actions that must be accomplished at a farrow – growing pig site to decide whether PED elimination is feasible.
Development of strategies to enhance PED containment in positive growing pigs This project involving six farms will test the hypothesis that negative finishers can be produced from positive sow site/nursery sources, and grow-finishers that were previously positive can produce negative finishers.


  • A research study is being conducted by the George Morris Centre on an innovative transport hot wash facility.
  • Surveillance sampling at federal and select provincial processing plants has been conducted to determine the prevalence of PED:
    • 448 samples were taken between May 16-September 15, 2014
    • 10 positive samples
    • No new cases after trace back performed
  • Biosecurity assessments of federal and select provincial processing plants were conducted:
    • Biosecurity gaps were identified
    • Improvements are being implemented with the majority being completed before the winter.
  • Financial assistance has been provided for the operation of a swine transport wash facility for dedicated PED-positive or suspect trailers:
    • 62 surveillance samples were taken between May-September, 2014 with two positive tests confirmed and resulted in no new cases being found after trace back investigation.
  • Numerous communications on PED and related topics for producers, industry and general public have been initiated
    • Four telephone town halls since January
    • 20 PED email notifications
    • Three mailers with pertinent PED information to critical access points (producers, processors/ abattoirs, transporters/truckers, assembly yards and deadstock operators)
    • Over 80 interviews conducted on PED-related topics
    • Producer and industry meetings

What’s next:

  • Further upgrading of biosecurity protocols at critical access control points
    • Processor improvements (upgrading loading chutes and areas)
  • Continuing applied research projects to better understand PED
    • Phase 2 of initial research projects if required or new projects may be considered.
  • Communication campaign for fall/winter for cold weather preparation
    • Producer and industry meetings
  • Continued surveillance at processing plants will be conducted:
    • Continued random sampling of known negative sites to monitor PED prevalence in Ontario
    • Begin to focus on known positive sites to determine if PED can be detected on the trailers at the processors
  • Surveillance at transport and assembly yards
    • Perform transport and assembly audits to address this critical control access point

Things to remember:

  • As we enter the fall months, the colder weather provides perfect conditions for PEDv to thrive. Don’t let a resurgence of PED occur:
    • Maintain farm level biosecurity
    • Ensure washing and disinfection procedures are followed
    • Use washed and disinfected trailers for transport when possible
    • Maintain open communication with veterinarians

All of the above work could not have been possible without the financial commitment from the Ontario government. Ontario Pork has been coordinating the efforts of the PED Working Group consisting of representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians, Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board and  University of Guelph to ensure the funds are allocated and used in the best possible way. We commend our producer and industry partners who have cooperated and participated in our efforts to manage this disease.

If you have any questions, please contact the Ontario Pork office at 877-668-7675.

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From a release:

The annual Shakespeare Swine Seminar for producers and allied industry personnel will be held at the Shakespeare Community Centre tomorrow, Wednesday, September 24th in Shakespeare. Sponsored by Ontario Pork, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, and Ontario Swine Improvement, this year’s seminar focuses on topics of current and practical interest to swine producers.

Dr. Darwin Reicks from the Swine Veterinary Center in St. Peter, Minnesota will discuss methods to ensure maximum litter size and reproductive performance when using artificial insemination. Dr. Mark Rix from Swine Management Systems in Fremont, Nebraska will discuss on-farm factors associated with weaning 30 pigs per sow per year as well as providing production comparisons between farms with sows in gestation stalls and farms using group sow housing. Dr. Tim McAllister from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will discuss the future of antibiotic use in livestock production and how to ensure antibiotics are used appropriately to ensure long term effectiveness. A panel on successful control and elimination of PED will discuss various approaches being used on Ontario farms at present to manage the disease. Additional speakers will address specific techniques to decrease pre-weaning mortality.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with presentations starting at 10 a.m. A hot lunch is provided and the meeting concludes at 3 p.m. The cost is $30 if pre-registered and $25 for additional people from the same farm. Registration is $40 at the door. To register please call the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 877- 424 -1300 or email ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

The Shakespeare Swine Seminar is always well received by producers, with lots of practical information and plenty of discussion. Please take note that it is tomorrow, Wednesday the 24th, in Shakespeare. I’ll see you there.

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The following is from an Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board (OPIC) update:


OSHAB has included PED (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea) in the ARC&E (Area Regional Control and Elimination) format and has been working actively to initiate this program. Support for this program includes funding provided by Ontario Pork to advance on-farm actions in the control and elimination of PED and funding provided through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.

The PED ARC&E will enroll and map sites across all of Ontario with all PED positive sites encouraged to enroll. Diagnostic costs and some support for veterinary costs associated with monitoring, control and elimination at these sites will be supported by this program. The program will communicate about the status of these sites and information learned about control and elimination strategies. The goals of the PED ARC&E are: To contain and reduce the prevalence of PEDV from pig farms in Ontario.
Actions will include:
– Investigate current and new cases
– Request participation of these producers in the ARC&E program
– Identify and solve primary biosecurity gaps
– Develop a farm or system specific containment plan
– Develop a farm or system specific elimination plan
– Communicate with producers and the industry
To date, over 60 sites diagnosed as PEDV positive, or related by pig flow have enrolled in the PED ARC&E and efforts continue to enroll remaining sites. An OSHAB PED ARCE workgroup has been struck. All veterinarians who work with PED positive sites in Ontario are invited to participate in this workgroup.


To date, this group has:
– Reviewed sites enrolled and initiated data collection and mapping of the PED positive sites across Ontario
– Developed methods to track the progress of farrowing sites in return to production (for example analysis of pigs weaned per week to assess return to production)
– Developed sampling criteria to assess the status of sites as they work towards elimination
– Developed 3 research proposals submitted under the Ontario Pork call for proposals for Applied On-Farm Research Proposals related to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and Porcine Delta coronavirus. These proposals were related to development of control and elimination strategies for farrowing sites with growing pigs, development of strategies to enhance PEDV containment in positive growing pigs and assessment of the duration of PEDV antibodies in sows and growing pigs post-infection.

What do we know about the control and elimination of PED to date?
Work to understand PED control and elimination has been underway in the U.S. and the knowledge base in Canada is growing.

Ontario Progress

To date, we have had:
– two successful PED elimination in all in all out nurseries with subsequent fill remaining PED negative following barn clean and disinfect
– one successful PED elimination in an all in all out finisher with subsequent fill remaining PED negative following barn clean and disinfect
– one successful Delta coronavirus elimination in a sow herd based on a herd depopulation
– one successful sow site PED elimination, also based on a herd depopulation
– a number of nursery and finisher sites working on PED elimination over the next two to three months

Information from the United States

The following information has been summarized from the American Association of Swine Veterinarians 2014 proceedings (Morrison, Goed and Connor)
– PEDV is highly infective with a 10-8 dilution of mucosal scrapings able to cause infection – this means approximately 1 pencil eraser of diarrhea diluted in 130 cubic yards can still cause infection, making fecal-oral the principle route of infection. As well, infective PEDV has been found in fecal slurry after >14 days at room temperature.
Message: stringent clean and disinfect protocols are essential
– Analysis of number pigs weaned per week suggests it takes 6 weeks on average to return to normal production at farrowing sites
– The majority of protection to piglets is expected to come for colostrum IgA antibodies; this is a passive immunity and will quickly reduce after weaning. These antibodies do not protect against infection with PEDV.
– Proximity to an infected site and size of herd may be factors that impact the risk of PEDV infection.
– Control of PEDV is not the same as elimination of PEDV and not eliminating the virus can result in the risk of repeated outbreaks of clinical disease.
– PEDV elimination at sow sites should be done in consultation with your veterinarian. Consideration of other disease issues in the herd is essential before initiating an elimination program.
– Work to date suggests the following actions are required to eliminate PEDV at sow sites:
o loading with replacement animals
o herd closure for a minimum of 3 months (and perhaps as long as 5 months)
o infection of the entire herd through feedback procedures
o strict all in all out and uni-directional flow of pigs and people
o strict sanitation and McRebel protocols
o do not introduce negative replacement animals until the flow is verified negative (testing and sentinels)
– Evidence suggests PEDV is more highly transmissible than PRRS, has a higher stability in the environment and shows lower levels of sow immunity. However, duration of clinical signs is dramatically shorter.

Updates and biosecurity tips will be issued regularly as we gain knowledge and experience in the control and elimination of PED in Ontario.

OSHAB ARC&E web page: opic.on.ca/biosecurity-resources/prrs-arc-e


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