April 23, 2018

Is Cause of Porcine Virus Pig Feed With Pigs In It?

Is the virus killing millions of piglets in the U.S. and Canada caused by feed that contains pig products? The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) think it might be, according to a story in the Toronto Globe and Mail.

pigsPorcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a highly contagious virus that causes serious, often fatal illness in suckling piglets through severe diarrhea and dehydration. It was discovered in the United Kingdom in 1971. Since its first appearance in the U.S. last spring, it has killed more than a million piglets and has recently entered Canada.

PEDV is typically transmitted via the fecal-oral route meaning it is excreted in the feces of an infected animal and transmitted to other animals that ingest microscopic amounts of the infected feces. Tests on samples of feed taken from an affected Ontario farm were positive for DNA of the virus, according to the Globe and Mail story. The feed, which contained plasma from pig blood, was recalled by the manufacturer.

The link to feed containing pig products is also being investigated in the U.S., but nothing has been established. A producer group in Canada is recommending that farmers avoid such feeds until more information is available.

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