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Virus that kills piglets found in Alberta for the first time: Alberta Pork

Last Updated Jan 8, 2019 at 1:44 pm MDT

Pigs are seen in this file photo from April, 2009. Manitoba pork farmers are scrambling to contain a virus that's deadly to piglets and is rapidly spreading. Andrew Dickson, general manager of the Manitoba Pork Council, says 51 pork operations are dealing with porcine epidemic diarrhea, up from about 40 a week ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

EDMONTON — A disease that has killed millions of piglets around the world has been detected in Alberta for the first time.

The Alberta Pork Producers Development Corporation says the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, known as PED, has been found at a 400-head hog operation in the province.

Alberta Pork says the disease affects pigs but poses no risk to human health and has not caused any food safety concerns.

The first case of the virus was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2014 on a swine farm in Ontario.

Since then the disease has also been reported in Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

Alberta Pork says strict biosecurity procedures can limit the effect and spread of the disease.

“Any place off-farm, such as an abattoir, should be considered as a potential source for bringing disease to your herd,” Alberta Pork said Tuesday in a disease notification to producers.

“Producers are reminded to review their farms’ biosecurity policies regularly and consult Alberta Pork or your herd veterinarian as required.”

Alberta Pork is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of Alberta hog producers to government and the public.