Hog Producers Remain on High Alert Since PED Virus Discovered at Oklahoma State FairgroundsThu, 28 Mar 2019 20:33:06 CDT
The presence of PEDv, a highly infectious disease targeting swine, was confirmed at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City this month during the 2019 Oklahoma Youth Expo. Initial reports of illness in hogs there at the world’s largest junior livestock show prompted an inspection by the State Veterinarian’s Office and the consultation of the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostics Laboratory. Test results from the OADDL identified the cause of the spreading sickness as the PED (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea) virus.
Exhibitors and attendees at OYE were immediately alerted of the situation. The OYE and State Fair administration worked closely with the staff at the Oklahoma Pork Council and the State Veterinarian’s Office in responding to the outbreak, disseminating information on the proper biosecurity measures to take in order to limit the spread of the disease.
Executive Director of the okPORK Roy Lee Lindsey, in a conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn, explained that it is likely all 2,500 barrows shown at OYE were exposed to the disease during the event. Since then, though, Lindsey has not had any feedback from show exhibitors who have returned home with sick animals and there has been no indication that the disease has continued to spread. He speculates that is because producers are taking the situation seriously and have employed the proper precautions, which he is advising everyone who attended OYE to continue doing.
“Continue to be vigilant now that you’ve returned home. If you see signs of animals that are ill, contact your vet. Don’t just assume what you’re dealing with. Go ahead and contact your veterinarian and get it confirmed,” Lindsey advised. “If you have sick pigs, be conscious of the things you’re doing on your farm that might impact your neighbors. The biggest thing is just continue to employ good biosecurity on your farm.”
Lindsey says it will probably be a few more weeks before the true impact of this event can be determined. In the meantime, Lindsey says the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds is taking its own precautions – disinfecting its facilities and clearing out all bedding that could potentially be carrying the pathogen. Fortunately, with time and the summer heat, Lindsey says the threat of this disease should be eliminated by the time the barns at the State Fair complex are used again.
Although tragic, Lindsey insists this event serves as a prime example of what can happen when proper health protocols are not followed and encourages everyone to learn from this teachable moment.
“The biggest thing you can do from a biosecurity standpoint to protect the health of your herd and everyone else’s is if you have sick pigs, leave them at home,” he said. “Whether you’re talking about a jackpot show or OYE or the State Fair… doesn’t make a difference. Start with the idea of only taking healthy animals and if you suspect an animal is ill, get that checked out before you leave the farm.”
Listen to Lindsey’s complete conversation with Horn by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
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