With porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) now affecting pig herds in Canada, Maple Leaf Foods has stepped up its efforts to assure that the Canadian meat and food processor's pig operations remain free of the virus. Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, said the company has initiated "extensive" precautions.

"We have built something of a fortress around all of our facilities," McCain said February 27 during a quarterly call with shareholders. The company has done everything from restricting access to the operations, restricting truck movements and offering multiple training and awareness programs, he said.

"There's a laundry list of hundreds of different restrictive actions that we've taken in our hog production operations, and we are trying to do our level best to try to remain PEDv-free," said McCain. "We're doing everything I think humanly possible, we review it on a very regular basis."


However, McCain also cautioned that even the best operators and most biosecure operators in geographic regions where there has been a presence of PEDv have not been fully immune to the effects of PEDv, despite efforts to keep it away.

McCain also adds that Canada has done a pretty good job containing PEDv, since it was first confirmed in the country in January. PEDv has the potential to have a 100 percent mortality rate in piglets and there is no known cure.