Hog virus control requires more truck cleaning
Livestock trucks should be disinfected when they arrive on P.E.I., before going to Island pig farms, says the head of the P.E.I. Hog Marketing Board.
Tim Seeber said that's one way to prevent the spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, a pig virus that was confirmed at one Island farm this weekend.
Seeber said trucks are not always being disinfected because there is only one P.E.I. facility, which is located in New Haven.
"That's the problem right now, we don't have conveniently located truck washes around the Island," he said.
"Some of this biosecurity upgrades mean that we'll have to install washing facilities at a few more locations around. But it won't be full truck wash buildings, it'll just be cleaning equipment set up at different places where the trucks can be washed."
Seeber said this new bio-security requirement is a challenge for the trucking industry, because the rigs are supposed to dry for 24 hours after disinfection. Drying is particularly difficult in the winter. Downtime for the trucks hurts the bottom line of those businesses.
Province commits $115K to biosecurity
Island hog producers are getting financial help from the province to try to halt the spread of a pig virus.
The province has set aside $115,000 to improve biosecurity on hog farms.
Seeber said this funding will help the 26 P.E.I. hog farmers not yet infected with PED make upgrades to keep the virus out.
"Each producer has to make their own decisions," he said.
"They're required to use a veterinarian to help them assess their biosecurity on their farm, and whatever each farm is deemed to need, that's where they will try to spend some money on it."
Seeber said this extra work is adding about $4 to the cost of each pig.
An investigation continues to determine how the virus came to P.E.I.. Seeber said so far it hasn't spread beyond the one hog farm.