Piglet-killing virus reported in Canada
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — A surge in cases of a pigletkilling virus in the heart of Canada’s Prairie Provinces is threatening the supply of the animals to the U.S. market.
Fifty cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus have been reported in Manitoba between the start of May and July 4, affecting 63,000 sows at hog operations in the province’s southeast, said Andrew Dickson, general manager of Manitoba Pork, a Winnipeg-based industry group. Some U.S. brokers have already stopped taking deliveries because of the outbreak in the province, which is Canada’s thirdlargest pork producer.
“We have delayed or canceled shipments from Manitoba in the past two months,” said Jason Mullenhoff, founder and president of Leigh, Neb.-based Pig Express Inc. One of the largest U.S. brokers of young pigs, Pig Express gets as much as 20 percent of its weekly supply from Canada. “We had to reshuffle a lot of deliveries,” Mullenhoff said. Older animals can recover from the virus, but the mortality rate is as high as 100 percent in piglets. An outbreak in the U.S. that peaked in the winter of 2013-14 killed millions of pigs, sending retail pork prices to a record high.