The President of HyLife says the challenge of the current prolonged outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus in hog barns here in southeastern Manitoba is taking a toll on people. 39 barns have contracted the virus this spring including a number of HyLife barns. Claude Vielfaure says their staff is being pushed to the limit in dealing with this situation.
"People have been working hard and, when these things happen, it shows the character of people and we certainly have lots of good character people who have come to the forefront and worked hard. But it is taking its toll. It's very tiring on people, all the extra work and everything that has to be done because of this."
Vielfaure says this outbreak is being unusually persistent.
"This PED virus has been a bit of a mystery. The last couple of years we've had some cases but have been able to get on top of it. But unfortunately this year, it just seems to be spreading very quickly, very easily and, although everybody is working hard on containing it, it's just been a virus that's been very perplexing to us. We'll work hard and we'll get through this. It's just a matter of trying to control and reduce the number of breaks we're having and then get on top of it and we will get there."
Vielfaure says hogs recover from the virus and return to full health except for piglets that are in the period ten days before birth and ten days after birth. He adds since PED has now struck in a number of sow barns, a lot of piglets are succumbing to the virus and that will have an impact on the supply chain in the future.
"When it hits sow barns, that's when the piglets pass away. It's very sad and something that is starting to affect a lot of sow barns."
Vielfaure reiterates the team at HyLife has been terrific at dealing with this stressful situation and he appreciates all their efforts.
The PED virus has no effect on humans and has no impact on food safety.