N.D. orders health certificate statement on imported swine

BISMARCK – North Dakota's state veterinarian has ordered that all swine coming into North Dakota be accompanied by a health certificate declaring that they have not been exposed to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv).

Dr. Susan Keller said the certificate also must declare the animals do not originate from a premises known to be affected by PEDv.

“This state response is the result of the identification of more PEDv cases in surrounding states and in Canada,” Keller said Tuesday. “The mortality rate in young swine is up to 80 to 100 percent, and production losses are significant in older swine although the mortality rates are lower.”

Keller said the health certificates must be signed by the owner of the animals as well as the issuing veterinarian.

More information on North Dakota's swine importation requirements is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/program-info/animal-importation-requirements/swine.

David Newman, North Dakota State University extension swine specialist, said proper biosecurity is critical in guarding against the spread of PEDv.

“It is critically important for anyone around swine – commercial pork producers, youth exhibitors and truckers – to use proper biosecurity methods such as washing boots and clothing, and establishing a line of separation between clean and dirty areas,” Newman said. “Swine transporters need to take extra precaution against PEDv when washing and sanitizing trailers between loads.”

Newman said complete information on PEDv can be found on NDSU's Animal Sciences website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/ansc/swine-extension.

PEDv causes severe diarrhea, severe dehydration, and vomiting in pigs. In newborn piglets from herds not previously exposed to PEDv,  the mortality is nearly 100 percent.

“At this point, the industry estimates are that more than 4 million pigs have been lost due to PEDv,” Newman said. “There is no sign that the spread of the virus is slowing down.”

PEDv is easily spread mainly through swine fecal material. The virus has been detected in samples collected from many different collection points including transport vehicles, processing plants and pig collection points.

“The easy spread of the virus and its numerous points of risk are why the line of separation between them is critical in preventing the spread of the virus,” Newman said.

It is important to note that PEDv is not a threat to human health or food safety. The virus only affects pigs.

PEDV first was recognized in England in 1971. Since then, it has been found in several European countries, and more recently in China, Korea and Japan and a significant number of herds in the U.S. Most recently, the disease has confirmed in Ontario and Manitoba.

It has not yet been identified in North Dakota.