Prevent spreading PED while hauling manure

The National Pork Board has developed a factsheet providing information that will help prevent PED transfer during manure hauling and application.

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus continues to threaten the United States pig industry. The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) reported that 1,300 samples had tested positive for PEDV as of Aug. 31, 2013. PEDV is spread via oral fecal contact. Any object that is contaminated with manure has the potential to transfer the virus, including manure application equipment. An earlier Michigan State University Extension news article, “Porcine epidemic diarrhea – Don’t spread it around”, discussed the PED risk associated with manure transfer and application.

While a PED outbreak at a sow site is devastating with nearly 100 percent mortality of the nursing piglets, the clinical signs of the disease are less obvious in pigs during the grow/finish stage of production. Field reports suggest the virus may be moving through finishing sites undiagnosed and undetected. It is suspected that the virus is being transferred to grow/finish sites via transport vehicles. Once at the finishing site the clinical signs of the disease may be unrecognized in the older pigs and the PED outbreak at the site is never diagnosed. Because the virus is suspected to stay viable in stored manure for extended periods, manure accumulated in the barn’s pit may contaminate the manure application equipment during fall manure removal then “hitch a ride” to the next site if the equipment is used at more than one farm.

Recognizing the potential for manure application equipment to contribute to the transfer of PED the National Pork Board has developed and distributed a biosecurity factsheet for commercial manure haulers. The factsheet lays out specific biosecurity practices for the commercial hauler, farm owners and employees of both the farm and the hauler. Besides recommending thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all equipment between sites the factsheet also recommends avoiding any cross contamination by establishing clear lines of separation that neither farm employees nor the commercial hauler employees are allowed to cross and establishing separate routes for manure application equipment and normal farm traffic. This factsheet, “Biosecure manure pumping protocols for PED Control: Recommendations for Commercial Manure Haulers, is available along with other information on reducing the risk of PED transfer during manure hauling. The factsheet provides important information for anyone using the services of a commercial manure hauler, sharing equipment with other farmers or even farms using the same equipment at multiple sites.

PED is a new health risk to the U. S. pork industry. Sow units with active PED outbreaks suffer significant production losses. Enhanced biosecurity practices and employee precautions during fall manure removal should be implemented to avoid accidental transfer of the disease.

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