A laboratory test confirmed the virus in a barn near
Chatham-Kent, Ontario, and another possible case is under
investigation in the same area, said Greg Douglas, the Canadian
province's chief veterinary officer.
"We still are under the impression that there are strategies to help
mitigate, slow the spread of this virus in Ontario," he said.
"However, the confirmed case, the second case, and the third under
suspicion, does change the situation, the reality."
The two Chatham-Kent farms involve finishing barns handling older
pigs that generally get sick and recover from the virus.
Last week, the Ontario government said the virus, which has killed
at least 1 million pigs in the United States, was found on a hog
farm in southern Ontario's Middlesex County, marking the first
confirmed case of the virus on a Canadian farm.
Virtually all of that farm's several hundred 2- to 5-day-old
piglets have died, Douglas said.
Ontario is Canada's second-biggest hog-producing province, after
Olymel LP, one of Canada's biggest pork processors, also detected
the virus last week at an unloading dock of its Saint-Esprit
slaughter facility northeast of Montreal, Quebec.
PEDv — which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in
hogs — has turned up in 23 of the 50 states since its discovery in
the United States last April.
The virus, which is already established in Europe and Asia, poses no
threat to humans and is not a food safety risk, according to the
Canadian Swine Health Board. The virus can spread through
contaminated pig feces on pigs, trucks, boots and clothing, and the
industry has increasingly demanded trucks be disinfected before they
[to top of second column]
If the virus were to spread across Canada within one year, it
would cause an estimated C$45 million ($40.6 million) in damage to
the Canadian hog industry, said Amy Cronin, a hog farmer and
chairwoman of Ontario Pork.
A drop in the Canadian hog supply would pose a major challenge for
Olymel and fellow hog processor Maple Leaf Foods Inc, both of which
also raise pigs.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)
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