By now most readers of this blog, at least in the US, have read about the spread of PED virus in the Midwest swine industry. On Wednesday at a meeting of veterinarians and producers at World Pork Expo it was announced that there have been 103 confirmed infections in the past month with the number expected to grow rapidly.
This morning the University of Minnesota announced the creation of a website with information links about the disease at: www.cvm.umn.edu/sdec/SwineDiseases/PEDV/index.htm
One of the clear messages coming from all of these sources of information is the importance of biosecurity. Lots of talk about truck washing/drying but this is only one possible avenue of infection.
As I’ve written before, foot traffic between the local convenience store and the production facility is another potential source of entry that we need to pay more attention to. I know many producers and contract growers still walk thru their barns without changing footware, then jump in their pickup for a quick trip to town for parts, often making a stop at the convenience store. This makes the floor of the pickup an excellent reservoir for any disease that may have been picked up at the convenience store or implement dealer or elevator where everyone else did the same thing.
Now is the time for producers to implement a bench entry system into their facilities. This means a physical barrier exists (a bench with a solid back that goes to the floor) where you take off your ‘go-to-town’ foot ware and then cross over into the barn of the barrier. The solid back keeps any mud or dirt on your ‘go-to-town’ foot ware from being pushed into the entry point under the bench.
The policy needs to be no non-barn foot ware allowed in production facilities – ever. If you walk into a production facility you change into foot ware dedicated to the facility or production site. The risk of PED virus or other disease entering your facility is just too great not to implement this biosecurity step.