Maintaining good biosecurity for pig trucks and trailers against diseases such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus can be challenging at any time of year, but it's particularly daunting in freezing temperatures, according to the Pork Checkoff.
Dr. Lisa Becton, director of swine health and information for the Pork Checkoff, says controlling PEDV in cold weather is not an insurmountable task, however, if you follow a few key steps.
"Be sure to store disinfectants above 32°F and use additives to lower the freezing point of disinfectants such as adding 100% propylene glycol to them," Becton says. "However, it's important to note that for safety of pigs and people, regular antifreeze or ethylene glycol should not be used."
Producers also need to allow for sufficient dry time for disinfected trailers in areas that stay above freezing. Becton says it's important to thoroughly disinfect any equipment and facilities that may come in contact with a clean trailer.
Becton also recommends that producers maintain a line of separation between "clean" and "dirty" areas on a farm and any trailer that's used to transport pigs.
"Maintaining good biosecurity is critical all year, but even more so with PEDV during the winter, since we know it prefers cold, damp conditions," Becton said. "Even though only sporadic cases of PEDV have been reported so far during the last few weeks of cold weather, now is a critical time to redouble your biosecurity efforts to help keep the number of cases low."