Western Canada's support for Swine Health and Disease Surveillance


CWSHIN serves western swine producers, swine herd practitioners and governments to improve swine health, production, and the economic prosperity of the sector.

Our vision is to have a surveillance system imbedded in an intelligence network that monitors diseases both present and absent.

The core of the surveillance system is the quarterly conference calls which bring together swine herd veterinarians and swine health experts in western Canada. Prior to the calls, CWSHIN collects clinical impression surveys completed by practitioners, laboratory data and other publicly available data such as federal inspected abattoir data. The data is then analyzed and presented for discussion during the calls.

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CWSHIN Objectives

What's New


Swine practitioners are reporting unusual clinical presentations and unusual organisms in the Clinical Impression Surveys and producers can help by being on the look-out for:

  • Skin lesions such as blisters on snouts, legs, or other parts of the pig; discoloring of the skin,
  • Sudden death in any age group,
  • Increased diarrhea, or
  • Any unusual signs

and contact your swine


One of the objectives of CWSHIN is to detect new and emerging health issues in the swine sector. Therefore, we want to discuss events with unusual clinical presentations of disease or presence of rare diseases. To detect these events comments made practitioners in the quarterly Clinical Impression Surveys are invaluable.

This quarter we had three good examples.

Streptococcus equii zooepidemicus (Strep zoo) was detected


The surveillance resulted in two themes for further exploration and discussion: 1) digestive syndrome (with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) in Manitoba, diarrhea, and non-infectious digestive conditions) and 2) skin syndrome (below normal trend).

Practical tips

  • Extra care with biosecurity needs to be in place for the fall manure spreading season (increased risk of PED).
  • Extra care is need for vehicles


The CWSHIN Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each of the western pork boards, with the western provincial agriculture ministries holding ex-officio status. The Manager of CWSHIN reports to the Board and oversees all of the organization’s activities. Within the organization, there are two working groups providing additional leadership and guidance: the Quarterly Team and the Scientific Technical Group.

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Dr. Jette Christensen DVM, PhD, joined CWSHIN in April 2018.

Dr. Christensen has 30 years of experience in all phases of national animal health monitoring, surveillance and disease control programs gained from field work in Denmark and Canada, including:

  • General veterinary practice as one of two veterinarians serving more than 110 swine producers
  • National animal surveillance in Denmark with: Danish veterinary Service (veterinary authority); Danish Bacon and Meat Council (national swine industry); Veterinary Laboratory (national reference laboratory)
  • National surveillance in Canada with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) from 2001-2017
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