People endangering hogs?

Central Alberta hog farmers are being urged to step-up “biosecurity” measures after pigs at an Alberta farm came down with the same virus that sickened people around the world.

Central Alberta hog farmers are being urged to step-up “biosecurity” measures after pigs at an Alberta farm came down with the same virus that sickened people around the world.

Since humans can transmit the disease to the animals, the province’s 450 pig producers are being warned to keep ill people and unnecessary visitors away from their hogs.

Farmers who have come in contact with pigs, other than their own, should stay out of their barns for 48 hours, states an Alberta Pork release issued on Sunday.

Alberta Pork executive-director Paul Hodgman said most producers, especially those who supply breeding stock, are already very careful about not introducing health risks to their barns.

For instance, the majority of farmers routinely quarantine in-coming pigs for a month so problems can be identified before they enter the main herd.

But even more stringent precautions, included posted protocols, are now being urged to preserve Canada’s international trade relations and prevent further cases of Alberta hogs getting the virus.

China announced a ban on Alberta pork product imports Sunday, after about 220 pigs from a herd of 2,200 on a farm located somewhere between Calgary and Edmonton began showing signs of the flu on April 24. Provincial officials were notified on April 28, and the barn was quarantined and remains on quarantine.

Despite assurances that Alberta pork is safe ­— health and agriculture officials have stated that the Type A H1N1 virus can’t be transmitted through eating meat or other pork products — several smaller trading partners, including Honduras, also stopped importing Alberta pork.

Hodgman said China is considered one of Canada’s larger export markets, but the U.S. is the biggest and, so far, has no problem with Alberta pork products.

While he’s disappointed by the import bans, he hopes other countries will weigh the facts and not over-react, as has happened in Egypt, where people rioted Sunday over a decision to kill pigs there.

The infected Alberta hogs got a mild form of the virus and have either already recovered, or are recovering from the flu.

The Alberta farm worker, who came back from Mexico and introduced the virus to the hogs, is also in fine health now.

Hodgman said the worker was not a Mexico native.

It wasn’t necessary to cull any of the infected pigs, said Hodgman, because, while bacteria, such as E-coli can survive for a time on animal meat, viruses can’t.

“They need living hosts. They don’t go into animal meat.”

Unlike the BSE bacteria that stopped Alberta’s beef exports for months, he added the H1N1 virus has a very short incubation time, which is typical for an influenza virus.

While human deaths have been linked to the virus in Mexico, other countries seem to have imported only a mild version of the sickness. Seven new cases were reported in Alberta on the weekend, increasing Alberta’s human cases to 15. But none of these people have required hospitalization.

Hodgman praised the disease reporting protocols Alberta pork producers operate by, which worked well in identifying the sick animals this time.

He noted most pig barns have shower facilities for people entering and leaving, as well as clothes that are only to be worn by people inside barns.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Shanna Lydiard is upset to have had mail delivery cut off last month to her West Park street because of water main reconstruction. Delivery is to resume by May 19 at the latest, according to the City of Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer woman frustrated by mail delivery suspension due to construction

Shanna Lydiard said residents shouldn’t have to drive across the city for their mail

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Jackson’s Pharmacy in Innisfail. (Devin Creeshen Twitter photo)
COVID-19: Most local MLAs have received their first vaccine shot

Alberta’s NDP is encouraging all MLAs to get vaccinated and publicly promote… Continue reading

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris, right, celebrates his game-winning overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with left wing Brady Tkachuk Wednesday May 12, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, holds up the trophy after beating Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, in the final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, in Montreal on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Philadelphia Flyers' Travis Sanheim (6) and Brian Elliott (37) celebrate with teammates after the Flyers won an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

FILE - John Davidson, left, president of the New York Rangers, and Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton pose at a news conference in New York, in this Wednesday, May 22, 2019, file photo. The New York Rangers abruptly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 with three games left in the season. Chris Drury was named president and GM. He previously served as associate GM under Davidson and Gorton. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, returns a shot from Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

United States goalie Alex Cavallini (33) deflects Canada's Marie Philip Poulin (29) shot during the first period in the women's 3-on-3 game, part of the NHL hockey All-Star weekend, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in St. Louis. Hockey Canada's roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women's hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Roberson
Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) makes a save as Maple Leafs defenceman TJ Brodie (78) and Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) look for the rebound during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Leafs and the Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the first time in 42 years when the 2020-21 NHL post-season gets underway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Most Read