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:
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.
Following the calls, detailed summary reports are distributed to swine veterinarians and producers, with information on swine health trends in the region and swine health updates from around the world.
CWSHIN also participates in the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network (CSHIN) to provide the western experience of swine health within Canada. Other CSHIN partners include the Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) and Réseau d’alerte et d’information Zoosanitaire (RAIZO).
At CWSHIN, our priority is analyzing existing data to provide useful information about swine health. We acknowledge that our data may be incomplete and of varying detail; therefore, we do not perform elaborate and complex analysis.
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.
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
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.
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.
The first detection of Sapelovirus in Ontario: What swine producers need to look for…
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
There is reason to be extra vigilant because we have three potentially emerging diseases and two of these diseases can mimic foreign animal diseases.
Contact your swine practitioner if you see:
Good biosecurity around transport of animals including cull sows and market hogs to abattoirs is critical to limit the spread of these potentially emerging diseases.
Western Canadian Association for Swine Veterinarians (WCASV) and Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network (CWSHIN) are hosting a Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) conference call for invited swine health practitioners in the region. The context is the spread of PED over the recent months with totals for 2019 (19 June 2019): 4 confirmed cases in Alberta and 36 in Manitoba.
Organizers: Drs Blaine Tully and Jette Christensen
Use “war-time biosecurity measures” for the next 6 weeks as we are into the high-risk period for PED.
Contact your swine practitioner if your see diarrhea.
Strict biosecurity both at the border and surrounding each farm is still paramount.
The high rate of respiratory lesions at abattoirs in SK/MB that we have seen in 2018 has dropped so SK/MB is now on par with East.
The total number of regional PED confirmed cases in the first quarter of 2019 was: 4 cases in AB and 2 cases in MB.
A desirable increase in submissions for diarrhea and PED awareness was seen in AB following the first cases of PED.
The high-risk period for PED in Manitoba extends from the beginning of April to mid-June so there is every reason to apply “war-time biosecurity measures” for the next 6 weeks.
Porcine Circovirus 3 (PCV3) has been detected by PRC by PDS. However, it is not known if PCV3 is an emerging new disease or a harmless virus.
Classical Swine Fever (CSF) is a challenge in backyard pigs in Brazil and in wild pigs in Japan.
Available in both the Apple and android app stores, this is a quick and easy way to collect, assess and input herd health data right into the surveillance network.
CWSHIN strives to produce timely and informative disease information. To that end, we hosed an in-person meeting on March 5, 2019 to discuss reporting and data collection strategies, to maximize efficiency in the analysis of the data that is being collected.
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.
Made up of swine health experts from across western Canada, the Quarterly Team provides the herd health, laboratory and abattoir data that feeds into the surveillance system. The CWSHIN Manager chairs this group of swine veterinarians, laboratories, provincial veterinarians and staff from the provincial pork organizations.
The role of the Scientific Technical Group is to provide guidance and recommendations to the CWSHIN Board of Directors on the four pillars of the network: science, management, communication and documentation. CWSHIN’s Manager chairs the group, which includes representation from each of the provincial pork boards and the provincial offices of the Chief Veterinarian. As required, other swine health experts will be brought in to offer their experience and expertise.
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:
In her early years with CFIA, Dr. Christensen worked with CPC (Canadian Pork Council) and all provincial pork councils across Canada on premises identification and traceability in swine.
In her latter years with the Agency, she initiated work on: scenario tree models to demonstrate freedom from avian influenza in poultry; Pseudorabies (Aujeszky’s Disease); and, in collaboration with the Atlantic Veterinary College/Canadian Swine Health Board, and Trichinella in swine in Canada. The work on swine diseases was part of Canadian Swine Surveillance System (CanSwineSurv), with the goal of supporting Canada’s claim of freedom from Trichinella, Brucella and Pseudorabies to maintain Canada’s international market access.
These activities led to a good understanding of the principles that guide non-tariff trade barriers, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines for international trade with animals and animal products.
Originally from Denmark, Dr. Christensen moved to Canada in 2001. She lives on Prince Edward Island with her husband and two daughters.