LINCOLN-PEDv presents a very serious issue that requires careful attention from hog exhibitors. PEDv poses no danger to humans or to the safety of the food supply.
However, now is the time to educate and plan on how to deal with the many questions and challenges associated with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV).
In light of the devastating effects of PEDV, swine health protocols should be re-emphasized and an increased awareness about the need for strict biosecurity needs to be a priority before, during and after every show. Although the virus has less impact on the older, growing pigs headed for a show ring, the potential to spread PEDV and other pathogens rises since the pigs are commingled at weigh-ins and then taken home.
Swine Show Biosecurity Recommendations
When pigs come together at events such as shows and weigh-ins, spreading disease is a risk; but the risk can be minimized through proper biosecurity procedures. Organizers and advisors scheduling commingled pig events should assess each situation and the associated risks to pig health. Having a plan in place to manage pigs from many different locations, identifying sick pigs, completing certain tasks such as taking a pig's temperature, knowing health certificate requirements and best practices for returning home will also help reduce the chance of disease spread.
Jodi Sterle, Iowa State University Extension specialist, offers some biosecurity
recommendations that swine exhibitors should make part of their regular routine.
• Bring only healthy pigs to a show. Observe them daily because the pigs will tell you a lot.
• Clean out the tack box and do it away from the barn or pigs. Remove any organic
material, then wash and disinfect all equipment—pails, brushes, waterers, whips,
panels, gates—even the boots you wore at the show. Use a commercial disinfectant according to label directions and allow everything to dry.
• Clean out the truck cab and trailer. Use the same basic approach—remove organic matter, floor mats, gates, ramps—and wash, disinfect and dry.
• Take only the feed and shavings that you will need, and leave anything not used behind. Don’t bring any feed or shavings home—it’s not worth the risk. To not waste feed, weigh and bag the amount of feed you will need for each day of a show, add in a couple extra servings for a safety net and that’s it.
• Pigs that return home should go into isolation—if at all possible—for at least 30 days, and 60 days is best. A shed or another room in a low-traffic area is good.
• Do the chores in the isolated area last each time and wash your hands before and after. Wear disposable boots and coveralls, and put them in the trash away from other pigs.
Finally, be sure no equipment crosses out of this area.
Regardless of PEDV's presence though, certain measures should always be a priority for anyone involved in swine shows. The Pork Checkoff has created several resources for swine show organizers, as well as swine exhibitors, to help them minimize their risk of contracting or spreading PEDV. Pork Checkoff’s fact sheets “Swine Health Recommendations: Exhibitors of All
Pigs Going to Exhibits or Sales” is an excellent resource for answers and guidance. Biosecurity information for show organizers also is available through these fact sheets: “Swine Health Recommendations: Organizers of Exhibitions and Sales” and “Swine Health Recommendations:
Biosecurity for Organizers of Weigh-ins or Tagging Events.” For all of the PEDV resources and research available please visit pork.org/pedv.
As a hog exhibitor, the bottom line is educate yourself, be aware, and take all steps necessary to protect your animals