June 15, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) Canada's pork sector wants to work with federal and provincial government to address the issue of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) Virus in Canada. This was the message Western Canadian hog producers took to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food today.
PED causes severe dehydration and diarrhea in pigs. It is generally fatal in very young animals with over 80 per cent mortality rates, though older animals can recover. PED is not transmitted to humans or other animals and is not a food safety risk. The first cases were reported in the United States in 2013 and in Canada in 2014.
While the disease is endemic in the U.S., where it is estimated there was 200 to 300 cases per week between 2013 and 2014, Canada has been successful in minimizing its impact. Ontario reported 101 cases since the first case in January 2014. Manitoba reports 28 cases since its first case in February 2014.
"Canada remained relatively disease-free because of heightened biosecurity measures that allowed trailers carrying hogs for export to the U.S. to not have to go to U.S. wash stations that may have had contact with PED. Instead they returned to Canadian wash stations that had stringent biosecurity measures in place," says CPC chair Rick Bergmann. "When CFIA cancelled this practice in 2015 and trailers were required to go to U.S. wash station before returning to Canada, we knew it was a matter of time before PED was identified on Canadian hog farms.
"Unfortunately, we have it now and we need to focus on recovery. This means putting containment and surveillance measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus any further" he adds. "We need to work together to find workable solutions to deal with the situation and assist the Canadian pork producers coping with the emotional stress while dealing with PED on their farms."
Canada's pork industry produces more than 25.5 million animals a year. It creates 31,000 farm jobs which, in turn, contribute to 103,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs across the country. Those jobs generate $23.8 billion when farms, inputs, processing and pork exports are factored in. In 2016, the pork industry exported over 1 million tonnes of pork and pork products, valued at over $3.2 billion, to 90 countries.
The CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, the organization's purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.
Public Relations Manager
Canadian Pork Council
(t) (613) 236-9239 ext 277