Veterinarians and university specialists consulting with several top pork industry groups last week released new guidelines to help producers manage swine manure while avoiding transmission of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, first identified in the U.S. in May.
The disease, which can cause significant herd losses and commonly affects small pigs, is primarily spread through fecal material. With fall being a key season for manure spreading, industry groups say the new guidelines could not come at a better time.
"We know this virus is easily spread to uninfected pigs and clean farms by infected manure," said Dr. Paul Sundberg, vice president of science and technology for the Pork Checkoff. "As we enter the fall manure-application season, it's a particularly critical time to follow a strict set of steps to help prevent the spread of this costly virus."
The new guidelines, available at www.pork.org/pedv, are specifically offered for producers, commercial or other manure haulers who travel from one farm to the next, and to those who land-apply manure.
Industry groups suggest also that both producers and haulers should know where the transport crew has been prior to coming onto a new farm. In addition, farms should have a clearly defined entrance and exit strategy to minimize cross-contamination with other farm traffic and maintain a distinct "line of separation" between haulers, their equipment and the animals and workers on the farm site.
Sundberg adds that separating manure-hauling equipment and personnel from animals and farm workers has proven to be critical in avoiding potential PEDV transmission via manure to an uninfected farm.
"The cornerstone of the new manure-handling guidelines is communication between the manure hauling crew and farm managers and workers," Sundberg said. "If we are to be successful in reducing the spread of PEDV, all workers must follow biosecurity procedures by respecting this line of separation."
Source: Pork Checkoff