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Quebec confirms case of deadly pig virus; farm put under quarantine

Hogs are shown at a farm in Buckhart, Ill., June 28, 2012. Quebec is the latest province to confirm a case of the deadly pig virus that has already killed millions of piglets in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/M. Spencer Green, File

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Hogs are shown at a farm in Buckhart, Ill., June 28, 2012. Quebec is the latest province to confirm a case of the deadly pig virus that has already killed millions of piglets in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/M. Spencer Green, File

QUEBEC - Quebec has confirmed a case of the deadly pig virus that has already killed millions of piglets in the United States, the fourth province to do so.

The province's agriculture ministry said on Sunday the virus, known as porcine epidemic diarrhea, was detected on a farm in the Monteregie region south of Montreal.

The farm has been placed under quarantine to prevent the virus spreading.

"All means are being taken to limit the spread of the virus and we continue to monitor the situation closely in the province of Quebec," Michel Major, Quebec's chief veterinarian, said in a statement Sunday.

"We must remain vigilant and ensure that strict biosecurity measures are applied by carriers, slaughterhouses, producers and all stakeholders."

The ministry is asking farmers to immediately contact their veterinarian if their pigs show signs of the disease.

Cases have already been confirmed in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba.

The disease, which poses no risk to human health or safety, first emerged in Canada less than a month ago at a southwestern Ontario pig farm.

Ontario has reported 21 cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea.

It's generally fatal for young animals while older ones can recover.

The highly-contagious virus is thought to have originated in China.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said last week it's looking into whether the virus is being transmitted through swine feed.

A Cambridge, Ontario-based feed manufacturer Grand Valley Fortifiers issued a voluntary recall on Feb. 9 for some feed products containing porcine plasma.

The agency said tests are underway to find out whether feed is a contributing factor to the outbreak.

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