From the Banff Pork Seminar to the Town Hall teleconference call by Manitoba Pork Council, to various other articles and protocols, I’m getting a little understanding of this dreaded disease, PED virus that kills baby pigs within days of birth.
The key factor here is keeping everyone on the same page, so to speak, to make sure everyone is playing with a full deck, and no one feels left out, especially, heaven forbid, you’re the one whose farm has it.
During that conference call in Manitoba, I asked Karl Kynoch, chair of the MPC, two questions. Will the producer report immediately should he detect the virus on his farm, and the second one, how are they doing?
Kynoch says the thing to remember is all the information MPC is sending out and providing is about getting the producer to realize he must must report it, and report it ASAP. Here is the key to his answer in my opinion.
“All producers must remember the virus is the culprit we’re dealing with not the fellow neighbours, or fellow producers down the road. The more that we can work together, the better we can deal with this. Since the virus broke out in Ontario, it seems to have come home to the attention of every producer”
While Ontario is 24 hours away, the virus is only five hours away in Minnesota from Manitoba, so they’ve been educating for some time.
He said, “We will continue to do things like this and educate producers. The more education the better producers can handle it.”
Again, in my opinion going back to the old Hog Marketing Board, the Manitoba hog producers have been doing the best job possible under the circumstances of educating the producers and the public that we’re doing the best we can to keep things above board.
Kynoch reminds everyone to remind the non producers this is not a food safety issue, or human welfare issue. Producers need to remind each other if the neighbour down the road gets PED virus, they are not the enemy, we must fight this virus together.
He tells producers they are the strongest defence against this virus and it is up to you to take charge and enforce a strong biosecurity protocol on your farm, to protect it. It is you that has to stop those truckers before they get on your premises. You need to demand to know have those trucks been washed and disinfected properly.
“When in the U.S. recently, people told me some truckers were not disinfecting because of the 12 to 15 charge it cost to do so. That is not acceptable and our board is very concerned about this. We want to see trucks sealed at the border, and show and prove they’ve been washed and disinfected before they can break the seal. You need to look at people delivering parcels onto your yard, anyone that comes on the yard to determine where their path before they get there.
Parcels can carry this virus for 48 hours on a dry surface. Meet with your employees and develop and enforce biosecurity protocols. We will continue to educate ourselves from the Ontario experience, the experiences in the U.S. and this includes discussions with producers in the U.S. with what they can do difference and what went wrong.
And continuously change and update our plans and protocols as we learn more information and please call if you aren’t sure and report ASAP.
I’m proud to be part of an industry that looks after themselves, and doesn’t abandon the one who may get the disease. Keep up the good work, folks, it is your livelihood! •