Pork Producers Advised to Watch Pigs Closely for Blisters Over the Next Three Months

Farmscape for May 2, 2024

Full Interview 12:25 Listen

The manager of the Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network is advising pork producers to be paying particular attention to the presence of blisters on pigs over the next three months that could be mistaken for a foreign animal disease. Last year the identification of blisters, ultimately found to be caused by Seneca Valley Virus, on culled sows heading from Canada to the U.S. for slaughter, triggered a series of foreign animal disease investigations prompting USDA to halt the import of culled sows until foreign animal disease was ruled out. As part of the Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network’s consultations with swine herd practitioners and veterinary lab diagnosticians, aimed at compiling its just released quarter one report for 2024, one practitioner’s mention of Swine pox led to further discussions about skin syndromes. CWSHI Manager Dr. Jette Christensen says the similarity of lesions caused by a variety of conditions, in particular Seneca Valley Virus, to foreign animal diseases such as African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth disease was among the points covered.

Quote-Dr. Jette Christensen-Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network:
One of the practitioners said, is there seasonality to this, because it happened two years in a row that the USDA discovered healed blisters on sows going to the U.S. for slaughter. It happened last year in 2023, it happened the year before in 2022 and it started around June both years. That’s why we said, is there seasonality here? We don’t know because we only have two years.
But, it’s really prudent for sow herds that want to ship culled sows to assembly yards for slaughter in the U.S. to be extra vigilant in May, June and July to make sure that there’s no skin lesions that could be mistaken as either Senaca valley virus or Foot and Mouth disease so blisters. So, if you see any skin lesions you need to call your vet.

Dr. Christensen notes blisters are reportable to the Canadian Food inspection Agency which will initiate a foreign animal disease investigation.

For more visit Farmscape.Ca. Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is produced on behalf of North America’s pork producers