Pork operations across the country are now instituting a new level of “clean” to help defend against the virulent spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). Iowa pork producer and veterinarian Dr. Craig Rowles spoke at the 2014 National Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City, Mo., where he explained why standard sanitization efforts fall short.
“If there are a million virus particles in a milliliter of fecal material and we disinfect it to 99.9999, statistically we still have a virus in that milliliter of material that is infective,” says Rowles. “The level of cleaning and sanitation that we’ve instituted on our farms has gone to a level above and beyond anything we’ve ever done before.”
To wage war against the devastating disease, producers need to attack PEDv’s weaknesses: hot and dry conditions.
On his farms, Rowles and his staff clean rooms between groups, heating up and then drying facilities. No pigs are loaded into wet rooms, and trailers for hauling pigs are washed and heated to 160 degrees for at least 10 minutes.
According to discussions at a water and nutrient management field day hosted by the University of Manitoba, heating rooms or trailers to 160 degrees appears to be the “magic number” to kill the pathogen. Even so, using a hot water high-pressure washer is just one step in the protocols needed to increase biosecurity measures.
Boost Your Biosecurity
The National Pork Board suggests several recommendations to enhance a farm’s biosecurity efforts:
- Establish and visibly mark a “line of separation” that defines the areas to be used by off-farm workers, and the areas to be used by farm or market personnel. There may be several such lines throughout a farm.
- Talk to all service providers to ensure they understand the critical nature of PEDV and your new site-access restrictions. Don’t forget to include the farm’s non-production staff.
- Completely clean, disinfect, and dry trucks and trailers, inside and out, after every use. This starts by removing all bedding and debris, as well as using soap, detergent and disinfectant. Don’t forget to clean the cab, too.
- Wear coveralls and boots when going to a production site or packing plant. When leaving, remove protective clothing before entering the truck cab.
- After transporting pigs, isolate and wash coveralls at a non-production site or throw disposables away off-farm.
- Restrict animal haulers’ access to the truck or trailer only. Load-out crews should not re-enter buildings without washing, and/or changing coveralls and boots first.