ALBERTA pork industry stepping up biosecurity measures
Posted: May 3rd, 2009 - 10:20am
Edmonton, Alta -- Alberta’s pork industry is taking extra biosecurity measures to address the potential case of influenza type A H1N1 virus on one swine farm in Alberta.
“Albertans can be assured that Canada’s animal health monitoring and surveillance programs are working properly,” says Paul Hodgman, Executive Director for Alberta Pork. “We commend the producer and his farm vet for notifying authorities as soon as his hogs were displaying flu-like symptoms.”
As a precaution, the Alberta swine herd in central Alberta has been quarantined. This precautionary measure is being taken until it can be determined exactly which flu virus these hogs may have. Samples have been taken from the herd and sent for testing. It will take up to two weeks to conclusively determine the strain of flu virus these hogs have.
“Hogs are susceptible to many human flu viruses and we are working hard to ensure that all proper biosecurity measures are in place on our farms,” adds Hodgman. “These steps minimize the introduction of a virus onto a farm, by people, by vehicles, by wildlife such as birds, or other livestock.
“Our first priority must be to take the precautionary measures to minimize the risk of spreading the virus to other pigs or people,” adds Hodgman.
Increased biosecurity measures instructions include the following:
• Ensure all biosecurity protocols are strictly followed;
• People should avoid going into pig barns if they have influenza like symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, achy or tired) or if someone in their family has influenza like symptoms;
• People who work in pig barns should visit their doctor if they develop influenza like symptoms;
• Visitors should not be allowed into pig barns, especially if they have recently been to areas where people have been affected by this virus;
• If symptoms of swine influenza occur in a herd (coughing, fever, depression, runny nose, off feed) contact your veterinarian promptly for diagnosis and advice.
The pork industry reminds the public that type A H1N1 influenza is not a food safety concern. People cannot catch type A H1N1 influenza from consuming pork or pork products and Canadian pork continues to be safe to eat.
Alberta’s pork producers will continue to work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Alberta government while maintaining our strict biosecurity protocols as well as the stringent animal health monitoring and surveillance programs.