Ontario pork producers and related businesses have until March 13th to apply for funding under a special biosecurity program aimed at reducing the spread of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus.

So far, more than 225 applications have been received and notifications are already being sent out to successful applicants. Producers, truckers, abattoir operators, assembly facility owners and renderers may apply.

Eligible activities include:

  • hiring a veterinarian to complete a biosecurity risk assessment
  • improving animal and traffic flow
  • buying cleaning and disinfecting equipment
  • buying dedicated clothing and totes
  • installing access controls and
  • improving mortality management systems.

Applicants must have a valid Premises Identification Number. Project costs can be incurred between April 1, 2013 and October 31, 2014, and claims can be made between April 1, 2014 and November 28, 2014.

The special program is being delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and funded by the governments of Canada and Ontario under Growing Forward 2 (GF2). This initiative is being offered in addition to the existing GF2 funding assistance program.

“I encourage everyone in the pork industry to carefully examine their situations, read over the program guide, and apply if they think they can improve their biosecurity,” said Allan Mol, President of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

As of March 4th, a total of 25 PED cases have been confirmed in Ontario since the first one was reported in mid-January.

“The co-operation of all levels of industry and government has been essential in minimizing the impacts of this outbreak,” said Dr. Paul Innes, Lead Veterinarian, Provincial Biosecurity, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs.

“Vigilance and strong biosecurity at the farm level, and diligent cleaning and disinfecting by transporters, renderers and processors, as well as changes to the flow of animals have all resulted in a relatively small number of cases compared to many affected U.S. states, ” he added.

Dr. Innes said that OMAF has managed the issue provincially while industry participants have stepped up to do what they need to do operationally to maintain production and marketing systems.

While producers are already doing a lot, they need to make sure they closely manage who and what comes on their farm through Danish Entry systems (which have distinctly separate ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ sides to maintain sanitary conditions inside the pig barn), efficiently routing traffic, and keeping equipment and facilities clean and disinfected.

Here are more good biosecurity practices:

  • Producers should review all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with staff and family to ensure there are no breaks in biosecurity. They should also work with their service providers to identify biosecurity risks, particularly PED status, so measures can be taken to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
  • Transporters and deadstock collectors should ensure their drivers understand proper biosecurity SOPs and have clean clothing and footwear between farms.
  • Processors and assembly yard operators should review their biosecurity and cleaning and disinfecting procedures to reduce the risk of cross-contamination between clients.

Ontario Pork is also providing guidance in this area.

PED is not a risk to human health or food safety. It is, however, a serious disease in swine production, which can cause 100 per cent mortality in piglets.

Information, program guides and application forms for the PED Biosecurity Special Intake Program are available at:

Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Tel: 519-826-4214, 1-800-265-9751 www.ontariosoilcrop.org ontario.ca/growingforward2

Media contact:

John Laidlaw

519-826-4218

jlaidlaw@ontariosoilcrop.org

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