Alberta hog farmer Arnold Van Ginkel put the health of the Canadian pork industry first and his own farm’s welfare second when he voluntarily reported influenza-like symptoms in his herd.

That announcement, along with the fact that a worker in his barn had recently visited Mexico and become ill with flu-like symptoms, resulted in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) quarantining his herd on April 28. Tests revealed the herd was infected with the H1N1 influenza A virus.

Van Ginkel’s herd was partially culled on May 8 to relieve overcrowding issues related to the quarantine.

“Thanks are due to Arnold Van Ginkel and his neighbors and industry partners for their ongoing support of the Van Ginkel family and for respecting and protecting the privacy of the family until they were ready to be publically identified,” says Jurgen Preugschas, chair of the Canadian Pork Council.

The CFIA says as of May 9 the flu has not spread beyond the farm and that 1,700 pigs remain under quarantine.