Pig Farmers Confront Disease Challenges Closer to Home

From PED virus and sow mortality, pig health challenges are hitting closer to home.

( Farm Journal's PORK )

While the ramifications of African swine fever in China and Europe continue to emerge, U.S. pig farmers are also watching disease challenges that are hitting closer to home.

On Jan. 9, a 400-head hog operation in Alberta, Canada, reported porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, a disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting in pigs.

This is the first report of PED in Alberta in actual live animals, said Dr. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council, on AgriTalk with Chip Flory on Tuesday. Previously, Alberta reported finding PED environmentally in a transport station, but not in live animals.

“Canada has done a tremendous amount of surveillance and testing. They've had a good program to try to walk it out of the country. So I would feel very comfortable in them knowing where they've got it and where they don't,” Wagstrom said.


U.S. Producers Focused on Sow Mortality Rates

“Over the last several years, there's been an increased awareness that sow mortality is increasing,” Wagstrom said.

The National Pork Board has put together a project, co-funded with the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, to study the causes of sow mortality and how producers can address them, she said.

The topic will also be addressed at the upcoming Pork Congress and state producer meetings. Listen to the full interview.

Related Articles: 

Deadly PED Virus Discovered in Alberta for First Time

Pig Survivability Working Group Starts with Sow Mortality