Western Canada's support for Swine Health and Disease Surveillance


CWSHIN connects members of the swine sector from across western Canada to share information on current swine health trends. We are a surveillance system imbedded in an intelligence network.

Using elements of science, management, communication and documentation, CWSHIN:

  1. Applies modern surveillance and epidemiologic methods to data collected from practitioners, laboratories, abattoirs, etc., and provide swine health intelligence to producers and swine veterinarians in western Canada.
  2. Monitors worldwide swine health trends, to allow for a better understanding of advances and potential threats.
  3. Strengthens the surveillance system and intelligence network through strong governance within the CWSHIN team and collaboration with swine health stakeholders.
  4. Communicates with producers, practitioners and governments to grow the network.
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Early detection of emerging swine health issues, such as increased prevalence of common diseases or minimizing the impact of new diseases to the sector.
Improving control of diseases by integrating response information to regional health issues.
Providing western Canadian producers and veterinarians with current regional, national and international disease information.
Maintaining international market access by providing evidence of the absence of reportable disease.


CWSHIN is terminating the support to the CWSHIN app – 28 May 2020

The idea behind the CWSHIN app was to complement the Clinical Impression Surveys and the laboratory reports with data from actual farm visits in real-time. A new updated version of the CWSHIN app was launched 13 July 2018 but no swine practitioner has used it regularly since then. The original idea behind the app was good but with so little use by practitioners, CWSHIN has decided to end all support for the app.

CWSHIN Report on swine health surveillance for 1st quarter 2020 (January to March) – 8 May 2020

Messages from the report

With the new CIS we have the clinical impression from about 61% of the region’s commercial swine premises.

The digestive syndrome that includes diarrhea was more common than other syndromes and diseases.

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) clean-up in Manitoba is progressing well but new cases of PED have been confirmed in Ontario and Quebec in2020

Practical tips from the report

People with flu-like symptoms (coughing, fever et.) should not enter any barns with swine – the concern is both influenza and COVID-19.

Abattoir, assembly yards, layover facilities etc. (high traffic high risk facilities) and connected transport continue to be a risk for PED and other diseases.

Producers are reminded that manure from previously PED-infected barns is a possible route of introduction and to take extra precautions when spreading possibly infected manure.

Unusual condition - purple sows

Sows affected with purple discolouring located on belly and legs (see images below) may be a rare condition – we don’t know. One loose housing sow site (3,000) had approximately 30 weaned sows (P1/P2) affected with purple discolouring located on belly and legs. The sows had normal appetite and recovered after about a week. There were no signs in piglets. Following lab results, no definitive diagnosis was confirmed. Rare cases of purple sows have been reported on other sow farms, but we do not know how frequent the condition is or if it has any impact on production, especially reproduction. Please help us gather information about this unusual condition: Click here to answer three quick questions.


Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) Swine Network Quarterly Producer/Industry Report

The first detection of Sapelovirus in Ontario: What swine producers need to look for…

CWSHIN Report on swine health surveillance for 4th quarter 2019 (October to December) 2019 – 19 February 2020

Messages from the report

The CWSHIN objectives include early detection of emerging disease issues therefore we are following the situation with Coronavirus in humans (COVID-2019). To date there is:

  1. no evidence that COVID-2019 is similar to swine specific coronavirus
  2. no evidence that pigs may be susceptible to COVID-2019.

COVID-2019 is in the media daily and misinformation and fake news are circulating on social media. Please use official sources of facts/information such as:

I am happy to announce that the new Clinical Impression Survey is an improvement. The new tombstone information adds credibility to the surveys and In Q4 we had good representation across the four provinces.

An improvement (and new) is that data from the new surveys allow us to compare the impression of clinical disease occurrence across the syndromes we monitor. The Digestive syndrome was the most frequent syndrome followed by the Respiratory syndrome.

The PED control in AB and MB is progressing well. The strength of surveillance by environmental sampling was demonstrated and there was good communication among provinces to help understand a PED positive environmental sample at a high traffic site.

Practical tips from the report

We may be between Influenza peaks (in January/February) but the next peak is expected in April/May.

Strict biosecurity for any contact with high traffic locations is critical to protect your herd.

Producers are reminded that infected manure is a possible route of disease introduction and to take extra precautions when spreading possible PED infected manure.

Strep zoo is important to trade of culled sows and a need for diagnostic test development was identified.


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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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