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Ontario records more cases of piglet-killing virus

John Miner, QMI Agency

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

LONDON, Ont. — The piglet-killing PED virus has hit in the heart of Ontario’s pork belt with a new case reported in Perth County.

The Perth case confirmed Wednesday is in a farrow-to-finish operation - one in which pigs are born and raised to their slaughter weight.

Perth County is Ontario’s biggest pork producing county, followed by Huron County, Oxford County and Middlesex County.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food also reported Wednesday a new outbreak in Chatham-Kent in a farrow-to-finish operation, the third farm confirmed to have the disease there.

Ontario now has seven farms with the disease with the first case confirmed in Middlesex on January 22. Other counties where it has been confirmed are Norfolk and Simcoe.

The virus has also been found at an Ontario processing plant, trucking yards and an assembly yard.

PED virus was first found in United States last spring and has spread to about 23 states, killing an estimated one million to three million pigs.

The resulting drop in U.S. production is credited with driving up the price of pork across North America.

The death rate in nursing piglets is close to 100%, while older pigs can recover from it. Officials emphasize the disease cannot spread to people and poses no food safety risk.

Pork industry officials have estimated the disease will cost the Canadian sector $45 million a year if it spreads across the country.


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