Biosecurity is the best method to help prevent the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) advises Paul McGraw, DVM, Wisconsin State Veterinarian.

This advice comes after the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) received information that some swine producers are considering transporting virus-laden material from premises with diseased pigs in an effort to build the immunity of their own herds against the disease.

McGraw said that not only is the idea a bad one because it could put other pigs throughout the state at risk, but knowingly infecting your own animals with a disease may also result in liability and possible prosecution.

Animal health officials were notified that some swine producers are considering this strategy in an effort to prevent their pigs from getting sick later in the year. Sources say that these producers want to transport material from an infected property to their own, which may violate Wisconsin law. 

The state vet noted that intentional infection of a disease free herd is not the answer to the PEDV problem; heightened biosecurity is still the best strategy for preventing infection.

Industry analysts estimate one to four million swine have died from PED since being found in the U.S pig population in 2013. There is currently no approved vaccine for use in Wisconsin.

Transmission can be minimized by swine farmers using proper biosecurity methods, including washing trucks and trailers between loads, washing boots and clothing, and establishing a line of separation between clean and dirty areas.  The National Pork Board has developed a wide variety of biosecurity information that is free and available at www.pork.org

The Pork Board has done an excellant job of outlining the many precautions swine farmers should be taking to minimize their losses by keeping the virus off their farm, McGraw said.