WINNIPEG — Local pork industry officials are keeping their fingers crossed a second virus similar to one that has killed millions of baby pigs in the United States won’t spread to Manitoba.
The Ontario government announced last week the new virus, called swine deltacoronavirus (SDCV), had been found on six hog farms in that province.
Pigs infected with SDCV show many of the same symptoms as those suffering from the deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, which surfaced in the United States in May of last year and has since killed upwards of five million piglets. The symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting in pigs in all age groups, with mortality rates highest in pigs less than three weeks old. The good news is so far, the mortality rates in SDCV cases haven’t been as high as in PED cases.
Like the PED virus, the SDCV virus does not pose a risk to human health or to other animals and is not a food-safety risk.
Manitoba Pork Council general manager Andrew Dickson said Monday that while there are no indications the SDCV virus has reached Manitoba, it’s always a possibility.
“Our pigs are no safer than any other pigs.”
Manitoba is one of four provinces to report cases of the PED virus. Ontario has been the worst hit, with 29 cases reported through the first week of March. The other two — Quebec and Prince Edward Island — each have one reported case.
A research report released this month by Rabobank, a Dutch multinational banking and financial services company that is a global leader in food and agriculture financing, estimates PED-related deaths could reduce the number of slaughter hogs in the United States by 12.5 million this year.
» Winnipeg Free Press