A deadly pig virus that has killed millions of piglets in the United States has been detected in Alberta for the second time.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry confirmed the presence of the disease at an undisclosed farm on Thursday.
“The producer and the herd veterinarian are working closely with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Pork and their processor,” a statement on the department’s website said Thursday. “Pig traffic to and from the site has been stopped and enhanced biosecurity is being implemented. An investigation into the source of the virus has begun.”
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) causes severe diarrhea and death in suckling pigs and milder diarrhea in older pigs, according to the Alberta Government.
Humans health is not at risk with this virus and pork products are safe to consume. Other animals are also not at risk of contracting the disease, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said.
WATCH BELOW: Saskatchewan pork producers fearful of devastating PED virus in Manitoba (July 2017)
Alberta Pork, a non-profit industry group said they are working with all industry stakeholders to contain the disease.
“It’s here now, and we need to be more vigilant,” said Javier Bahamon with Alberta Pork. “The industry and the government are working together to contain the disease.”
Bahamon said they are working with producers and farmers on implementing more strict biosecurity protocols. This includes everything from wearing protective booties in abattoirs, washing and disinfecting livestock trailers to making sure equipment and tools are sanitized.
“Biosecurity is the most important part….there needs to be a culture of biosecurity,” he said.
The virus is very contagious and even a small amount of contaminated manure can quickly infect a whole barn of pigs, Bahamon said.
The original source of the virus is thought to be China, where it is endemic in that country, Bahamon added.
The first case of the virus was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2014 on a swine farm in Ontario.
The disease has also been reported in Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.
— With files from the Canadian Press