Posts Tagged ‘health’

The clinical signs of Senecavirus A can resemble some swine vesicular foreign animal diseases. If clinical signs are seen at border crossings, this can prevent export and if clinical signs are seen at abattoirs (cull sows or market hogs), this can result in temporary shutdown of processing.

The following document has been prepared by Swine Health Ontario and can assist you in identifying the clinical signs associated with Senecavirus A and provide recommended actions if clinical signs are seen.



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The Swine Expert Network of the OAHN has issued a quarterly report:

OAHN logoOntario Animal Health Network Swine Q4 2015 Producer Report


  • OAHN Swine Network Project to investigate weaned pig morbidity and mortality rates, the major causes of morbidity and mortality and to assess therapeutic interventions. Currently enrolling nurseries…
  • Influenza A virus detection is on the rise. News you need to know about this virus
  • *NEW OAHN Swine Network Podcast Series on Influenza A virus. Part I now available: www.oahn.podbean.com 
  • OVC Swine Research Findings on resistance genes & post-weaning anemia with regards to zinc oxide in feed rations
  • Information on how you can stay up to date with OAHN…

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Since the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) entered Ontario on January 22, 2014, the Ontario Pork Industry has been working together to help manage this disease. Positive cases have been limited to 87 cases. Good biosecurity practices, increased vigilance and strong clean-up efforts have resulted in limiting the spread of the disease.  Although it’s that cold and snowy time of year, don’t let your biosecurity guard down. Be vigilant and keep your herd protected and healthy!

Clinical Signs Include

  • Sudden onset of watery diarrhea +/- vomiting in all ages of pigs
  • High mortality in piglets

If you suspect that your pigs may be infected with PED virus, contact your veterinarian immediately. He or she will provide strategies to help you to manage the disease. Be vigilant and watch for early signs of scouring. Animal Health Lab Submission Forms for PED.

On-Farm Biosecurity

Biosecurity procedures need to become routine business practices. Implementing strict on-farm biosecurity protocols can prevent PED from infecting your pigs. Proper biosecurity measures should include protocols that address animal, supply and personnel movements. Take some time to read through your procedures, ensuring they are correct and in place. Then take the time to review the policies and procedures with staff, highlighting the importance of biosecurity for your herd.

Transportation Biosecurity

PED virus is highly infectious and can be easily spread to farms through contaminated trailers. You should ensure that only washed and disinfected trailers come on to your farm to pick up or deliver live animals.

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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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Shakespeare Swine Seminar

This year’s Shakespeare Swine Seminar will be held on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at the Shakespeare Community Centre.  The one day seminar is an education event for hog producers and allied industry personnel that features local and international speakers on topics of importance to the swine industry.

Dr. Darwin Reicks from the Swine Veterinary Center in St. Peter, Minnesota will discuss optimizing litter size when using artificial insemination. Dr. Mark Rix from Swine Management Systems in Fremont, Nebraska will compare production in sows gestated in loose housing and in stalls. Dr. Tim McAllister from Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta will address antibiotic use in food animal production.

Additional topics to be covered include eradicating PED from farrowing sites, increasing piglet survival rates, identifying semen quality issues, and more.

Pre-registration is required and can be completed by either calling 877- 424 -1300 or emailing ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca.

The Shakespeare Seminar is sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Rural Affairs and Ontario Pork.

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There is a new national program that everyone in the pork industry needs to know about (see PigTrace Canada for full details).

Effective July 1st of this year federal regulations will make pig traceability mandatory in Canada. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed regulations under Canada’s Health of Animals Act that will require both the sender and receiver to report the movement of pigs within seven days of shipment or reception.  A document containing the movement information must accompany all pig shipments and records must be retained for 5 years.  These regulations have been in process for several years and were developed through extensive consultation with industry representatives, including Ontario Pork and the Canadian Pork Council.

Administration of the database is being conducted by PigTrace Canada, which is an industry led pig traceability program. The goals of the system are to ensure protection, prosperity, and peace of mind for the Canadian pork industry and its customers.  The program is designed to improve the response to animal health or food safety emergencies, which will minimize the impact of market disruptions and will also support market access.

Having valid premises registration numbers for each location (for example farms assembly yards, or abattoirs) that ships or receives pigs is a requirement of the PigTrace Canada system.  There are certain features of the program that simplify movement reporting in certain circumstances, but it is the responsibility of both the sender and receiver of animals to ensure that all pig movement is recorded and reported.

Watch for the information packages that Ontario Pork will be mailing to producers later this month.

If you’re not aware of the requirements of these new regulations, which come into effect on July 1st, be sure to visit the Ontario Pork booth at the Ontario Pork Congress in Stratford, June 18 and 19.  You can also check out the June issue of Pork News and Views to learn more. Complete information on the PigTrace Program is available on Ontario Pork’s website (www.ontariopork.on.ca) or at www.pigtrace.ca

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The following is from an OSCIA media release:

Ontario pork producers and related businesses are better protecting pigs with more than 1,000 projects and $8.8 million from a special biosecurity program aimed at reducing the spread of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus.

Producers are tackling more than 85 per cent of the projects, which include building or improving wash stalls, buying pressure washers for the barn, and/or buying heaters for the water in existing pressure washers.

Other farm projects include:
• Building or improving Danish entry systems (which have distinctly ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ sides to maintain sanitary conditions inside the pig barn).
• Constructing separate driveways for incoming and outgoing vehicles.
• Improving deadstock-handling systems, including pouring concrete pads for composting.

Transporters, assembly yard owners and abattoir operators are also participating, with projects aimed at better cleaning and disinfection of trucks, and upgrading biosecurity systems at loading docks.

The special program is funded by the governments of Canada and Ontario through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. It is being delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).

“The pork industry’s tremendous response shows how seriously everyone is taking this disease, as well as their commitment to protecting themselves and the entire sector,” said Allan Mol, President of the OSCIA. “Best of all, the biosecurity measures taken under this program will protect against any disease, so its effects will be felt for years to come.”

Some participants are working on more than one project. Several are investing substantially more money in improving their biosecurity systems than was available through the program’s cost-share formula.

“The number of applications was impressive, especially given the tight timelines,” said OSCIA program manager John Laidlaw. “We had dedicated displays at many meetings and shows. Ontario Pork was also very helpful in providing information to their members and worked especially hard at getting transporters qualified to get in on the program.”

As of April 14, 2014, there were more than 50 confirmed cases of the PED virus in Ontario, since it was first identified on January 22, 2014. Industry and provincial government officials continue to encourage farmers and others to be vigilant and to maintain high biosecurity standards. Research is ongoing into possible sources for the disease (e.g. feed) and methods for boosting the swine herd’s immunity to the virus.

The PED virus is not a risk to human health or food safety. It is, however, a serious disease in swine production, which can cause 100 per cent mortality in piglets.

See the full release:


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