Contaminated feed has been shown to be the most likely cause of the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus outbreak in Ontario, said Dr. Chris Byra, manager of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network. The virus has spread to more than 40 farms in the Canadian province, since the confirmation of PED virus in Ontario in January.

Speaking at Manitoba Pork's 2014 annual general meeting, Byra said there is very strong evidence of a link between contaminated feed and PED virus. The farms that became infected were linked by a single source of feed and a single batch of plasma, Byra said, adding that the biosecurity on some of these farms was very good and there were no other links to PED virus.

“What really kind of sealed it from an epidemiological point of view was finding a positive case … which had absolutely no link with Ontario at all but had purchased feed from that batch from the same supplier,” said Byra. “The overwhelming epidemiological evidence already confirms that feed was a high risk.”