A disease that can cripple pig farms has been found for a third time in a month in Manitoba.
The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus can wipe out a farm of piglets, as it has a mortality rate of 80 to 100 per cent.
The third case was found Saturday in the same general area as the previous two cases. Manitoba Pork Council GM Andrew Dickson isn’t sure if there is a connection between the cases.
“That’s what we’re looking at right now because it’s all happened in the last two weeks,” Dickson explains. “Another question we get asked is, ‘Is this a result of the changes in the federal regulations on May 2?’ We have no hard physical evidence to link the two. But on the other hand, is it a coincidence? I don’t know.”
Dickson also isn’t sure if this is the end of the line for the virus or the start of something much worse.
“Case one always gets us worried. Case two always gets us worried. Case three gets us worried. On the other hand, we went through this a couple years ago. We had five cases over a six-month period and then we seemed to get out of it.”
Until these last three cases, Manitoba had been free of the disease for 16 months. Once a farm is found to have the virus, it has to be completely shut down and cleaned out.
While the virus is only right now present in Manitoba and Northern Ontario, it has killed 10-million piglets in the US in the last two years.