Alberta pork industry takes steps to keep out deadly pig virus
Biggest concern is picking up the disease from trucks that move back and forth to the U.S.
Pork producers are taking extra measures to keep a deadly pig virus out of Alberta that has killed millions of piglets in the U.S.
Porcine epidemic diarrhea has also been found recently on farms in Ontario. Veterinarians say the virus is not a threat to human health.
- Deadly pig virus infects 4 hogs, spreading through Ontario
- Pork virus outbreak in U.S. worries Alberta producers
Will Kingma, who has a 2,300 pig operation in Bentley, says pig operators already have strict bio-safety measures in place but he is going further.
"We have several finisher barns that we would just allow foot traffic back and forth from the barns and now we're going to be boot change, coverall change — Danish entry system is the term for it," he said.
"It's kind of like clean to dirty. So everything outside the barn is considered dirty and then a switch area that nothing gets contaminated."
Kingma says the biggest concern is picking up the disease from trucks that move back and forth to the U.S.
The industry is looking at measures to improve truck washing.
"We have good truck wash protocols," said Kingma. "We're looking to do some things, hopefully put truck washes closer to borders. We're looking at everything we can do — put drying facilities in. The more we can do, the better chance we have of keeping it out."
Industry representatives and government officials say they have already worked on an emergency plan to respond if it is found in Alberta.