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.


Message from CWSHIN NEWS #15 – 29 November 2019

The PED control efforts in the 82 confirmed cases in Manitoba are beginning to show results: 41 has achieved Transitional status and of these 15 has also achieved Presumptive Negative status.

High traffic high risk facilities and connected transport continue to be a risk for PED in Manitoba.

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

CWSHIN Report on Swine health surveillance for Quarter 3 (July to September) 2019 – 12 November 2019

Messages from the report

The CWSHIN objectives include early detection of emerging disease issues. Therefore, we strive to flag and discuss new or unusual signs of disease regardless if the cause of disease is considered common or not. One of the emerging diseases from the second quarter (Strep equi zooepidermicus or Strep zoo for short) is still lingering and causes some concern especially in Manitoba and the US Midwest. It has now been named a potential emerging disease threat.

When we face emerging swine health issues or unusual presentation of known diseases, swine producers, herd practitioners, swine health experts in laboratories and governments must be prepared to work together openly and closely.

During the first days or few weeks, sharing information is key to limiting spread of emerging swine health issues. CWSHIN strives to provide a semi-private forum for sharing information among key players in the region.

The CWSHIN objectives also include sharing information on response to regional diseases. This quarter, lessons learned from dealing with an emerging disease and experience with safely shipping PED recovered pigs to slaughter were discussed.

Practical tips from the report

The flu season has started early this year so, it’s time for the flu-shot to protect people who work with pigs, their families and the pigs.

If you see sudden deaths or higher than normal repeats or abortions call your swine practitioner (veterinary clinic).

High-risk traffic facilities and connected transport continue to be a risk for PED and other diseases such as Strep zoo

  1. Focus on transport biosecurity for cull sows and market hogs
  2. Infected manure is a possible route of PED introduction so take extra precautions when spreading possibly infected manure

Link to Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) Swine Network Report

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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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