SCIENTIFIC testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has not been able to confirm a link between feed containing blood plasma and cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in pigs in Canada.
In mid-February, CFIA conducted a bioassay study on U.S.-origin porcine blood plasma used in feed pellets produced by Grand Valley Fortifiers and determined that the blood plasma in question contained PEDV capable of causing disease in pigs (Feedstuffs, Feb. 24).
However, in its subsequent investigation, CFIA could not demonstrate that the feed pellets containing the blood plasma were capable of causing the disease. Among other things, the CFIA investigation included sampling and testing of feed, plasma and other feed ingredients from various Canadian and U.S. sources associated with farms in Canada on which PEDV has been detected. All test results on these samples were negative for PEDV.
CFIA said it will continue to analyze feed and feed ingredients, as well as epidemiological information gathered during the investigation. In addition, CFIA said it will examine any new lines of inquiry related to feed that may emerge, in particular from ongoing testing in Canada and the U.S.
The feed investigation was triggered Feb. 9 after testing by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food found that U.S.-origin porcine blood plasma used in Grand Valley's feed pellets contained PEDV genetic material. As a precautionary measure, Grand Valley voluntarily withdrew the potentially affected feed pellets from the marketplace.
Further testing by CFIA's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease confirmed that both the blood plasma and the feed pellets contained PEDV genetic material; however, the bioassay study was required to confirm whether this genetic material could cause illness in pigs.
CFIA has been closely monitoring the emergence of PEDV since the first cases were reported in the U.S. in April 2013. The agency said it will continue to collaborate with provinces and territories to support their response to PEDV in Canada.
PEDV can spread rapidly through contact with sick animals, as well as through items contaminated with the feces of infected animals. Therefore, adhering to good biosecurity protocols remains the best measure to prevent further introduction or spread of this disease.
PEDV poses no risk to human health or food safety.