Pigs are the most likely farm animal to be susceptible to COVID-19 because the DNA makeup of the virus makes it more likely to bind to pig cells.

Sick with COVID-19? Stay away from animals if possible

There’s not much yet known about transfer to animals, but pigs are at largest risk

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farmers with livestock should take some of the same precautions that they are taking with people in order to make sure they don’t transmit the coronavirus COVID-19 to their animals. Prof. Scott Weese, who works in infectious diseases at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, says it’s not yet known which animals […] Read more

The number of backyard pig operations in China has aided in the spread of African swine fever.

Tackling a more virulent African swine fever

Science Notes: A new vaccine shows promise tackling the latest, tough strain

Reading Time: 2 minutes Government and academic investigators have developed a vaccine against African swine fever that appears to be far more effective than previously developed vaccines. The research appeared recently in the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. Currently, there is no commercially available vaccine against African swine fever, which has been devastating […] Read more

Pigeons are more of a concern than other wild birds because they are so common around farmyards.

Monitoring wild bird threats to domestic poultry

Clusters of dead birds are an alarm bell and should be sent for testing

Reading Time: 2 minutes An outbreak of Newcastle disease among cormorants, as was seen in the summer of 2018, can generate significant public interest when it occurs in an area also high in population of sympathetic humans. But from the standpoint of human health and domestic poultry production, a much bigger risk would be present if the same infection […] Read more

Poultry disease outbreaks can move quickly within a barn, and to nearby other farms.

Twitter may hold key to early poultry disease warning

Researcher aims to refine system for Avian Influenza outbreaks

Reading Time: 2 minutes Computer-based monitoring of social media posts could lead to early warnings about poultry disease outbreaks, according to work at the University of Guelph’s Department of Computer Sciences. PhD candidate Samira Yousefi was the sole non-poultry specialist out of 10 University of Guelph students featured during the annual research day of the Poultry Industry Council (PIC). […] Read more

Infectious bronchitis means less egg laying capacity in hens.

Vaccine shows promise against widespread chicken disease

Science notes: Recombinant virus vaccines use weak versions of viruses or bacteria

Reading Time: 2 minutes A new vaccine strategy could offer protection to millions of chickens threatened by a serious respiratory disease, research shows. Respiratory diseases such as infectious bronchitis virus cause major economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Infected chickens experience weight loss, decreased egg production and impaired egg quality. They are also left vulnerable to other diseases. […] Read more

Dr. Egan Brockhoff has been working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on risk factors for imported feed, and a document about that is expected to be published soon.

Feed from China poses major ASF danger

China is the only source of certain amino acids needed for hog rations, and even packaging can carry the virus

Reading Time: 2 minutes Imported feed ingredients are a major risk factor for entry of African swine fever into Canada. The highly contagious hemorrhagic fever is a major problem in China and other Canadian trading partners. Studies have shown the virus can survive in feed during an ocean crossing to North America. Why it matters: African swine fever would […] Read more

Workers in protective suits are seen near a truck at a plant of pork processor Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development, following a discovery of pigs infected by the African swine fever in Zhengzhou, Henan Aug. 17, 2018.

Kitchen scraps eliminated for pigs in China

China's ag ministry blames feeding food waste to pigs for African swine fever spread

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters – China’s Agriculture Ministry says it will ban the feeding of kitchen waste to pigs after linking the practice to the majority of the early cases of African swine fever. The statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is the government’s first comment on how the deadly disease has spread in the […] Read more

U.S. pork producers, such as this barn in Iowa, are taking the threat of African swine fever seriously.

A look at U.S. steps to prevent African swine fever

The U.S. industry is being proactive, learning lessons from previous imported animal diseases

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters – U.S. hog farmers are ramping up safety procedures and leaving animal-feed ingredients imported from China in storage in an attempt to keep out a highly contagious swine disease that is moving through Asia and Europe. U.S. government officials said in interviews they are also increasing their ability to test for the disease, African […] Read more

Almost all piglets who get Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus die from it.

Eliminating enzyme creates virus-resistant pigs

Science Notes: The gene-edited pigs are resistant to the Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus

Reading Time: 2 minutes Researchers at the University of Missouri have successfully produced a litter of pigs that are genetically resistant to a deadly porcine virus. Coronaviruses, highly contagious and widespread viruses known for their distinctive microscopic halos, are responsible for a variety of deadly intestinal diseases in livestock. Why it matters: The innovation will help reduce the financial […] Read more