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Training Offers Defence Against Swine Dysentery

by 5m Editor
24 January 2012, at 8:16am

CANADA - The Chair of the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board says new programmes developed by the Canadian Swine Health Board are providing pork producers with the tools they need to keep their operations free of swine dysentery, Bruce Cochrane writes.

"The Re-emergence of Swine Dysentery in North America" was among the topics discussed last week as part of the 2012 Banff Pork Seminar.

Dr Doug Mac Dougald, a veterinarian with Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services and Chair of the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board, explains swine dysentery is a feeder pig diarrhoea problem caused by the bacterial species Brachyspira hyodysenteriae.

Dr Doug Mac Dougald – Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board

This disease was a primary problem in the 1970s and 1980s in our North American industry, largely disappeared from mid-90s through until 2003 to 2005.

Since the mid-2000s it has re-emerged in the US and in limited numbers in Canada.

Since about 2003, the number of clinical cases confirmed has escalated with thousands of confirmed cases in the primary pig raising areas of the US, the south-east and in the Mid-West.

In Canada in the last couple of years, there's been increased cases of swine dysentery, primarily in western Canada.

The last confirmed case through the Animal Health Laboratory in Ontario was mid-2008 and nothing since then.


Dr Mac Dougald notes swine dysentery can be introduced through any means of faecal transmission but the good news is that Brachyspira is not an airborne pathogen.

He says the Canadian Swine Health Board Initiated National Biosecurity Training Programme and site assessments, offer producers an opportunity to examine current biosecurity procedures and address any gaps and with that we can virtually stop any transmission of swine dysentery.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on swine dysentery by clicking here.