Piglet-killing virus re­ported in Canada

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

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.

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