The Asian Longhorned tick was first found in North America on a farm in New Jersey. It has not yet been found in Canada.

Early reporting and biosafety protocols needed for disease control

Farmers are generally the first to notice emerging infectious diseases and viruses

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers are at the front line of disease identification, a role that’s not always recognized. Why it matters: Infectious diseases pose a risk to animal and human health, farm production and have trade implications.  “I think this year has shown us why we pay attention to infectious diseases,” said Dr. Scott Weese, professor at Ontario […] Read more

Andy Jakubowski, told the Banff Pork Seminar that pigs piling when they were cold told them they had a ventilation problem.

Cameras tell the story of animal behaviour

A hog farm finds much can be learned when employees aren’t in a barn

Reading Time: 2 minutes When looking for answers to problems with barn operations, make sure to ask the pigs. Pillen Family Farms was trying to figure out why its new nursery barns weren’t performing as well as some old ones, so they turned to video cameras as a way to better understand the behaviour of pigs when workers weren’t […] Read more

Canada’s mink farms brace for COVID

Producers have had time to increase biosecurity efforts at the farm level

Reading Time: 2 minutes Canada’s 40 mink farms are operating under heightened biosecurity requirements after reports of COVID-19 jumping from humans to mink in Europe. Alan Herscovici, an industry spokesperson who operates the website Truthaboutfur.com, said early reports out of Denmark and other European countries gave Canadian producers some time to prepare. “These farms have always had a certain […] Read more

Opinion: Labour crisis is about farm security, not food security

Food continues to be abundant, but some farms are under financial pressure due to labour shortages

Reading Time: 3 minutes The COVID pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated long standing issues with respect to labour in the food system – both on farms and in food processing. This is often presented in the context of a threat to food security but in reality the issue is more critical for farm security than food security. That is, […] Read more

Provincial trespassing bills watched by federal minister

Farmers should not be threatened for feeding Canadians, says minister

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – At least four provinces have strengthened or are looking to strengthen their trespassing legislation, but the federal government said it will look to support producers in other ways. “It has to be done at the provincial level, but I’m following it closely because this is something that I care about,” said Minister […] Read more


While vaccines play a critical role in boosting immunity, they are only one-third of the formula for building herd immunity against insults.

Vaccinations must work with biosecurity, monitoring

The use of vaccines can help, but disease can break through when there’s stress to animals

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Stress and the immune system are not friends. That’s why an understanding of major swine stress factors is key during the vaccination process, said Alejandro Ramirez from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. Ramirez, along with Chris Chase, professor of veterinary medicine at South Dakota State University, spoke about […] Read more

Producers are adept at keeping pigs safe but now have to adopt new measures to do the same for barn employees during the pandemic.

Managing new human biosecurity in an animal biosecure world

Hog farmers are familiar with biosecurity but human to human contact presents different challenges

Reading Time: 3 minutes Biosecurity measures introduced into Ontario’s hog barns over the past decade leave the sector well-placed to respond to livestock disease outbreaks, but haven’t necessarily created an adequate defense for the human-to-human transmission threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, as with many other business owners both agricultural and non-agricultural, the province’s pork producers have […] Read more

Kelly Barratt is a veterinary practitioner with Heartland Veterinary Care.

Trust and telehealth services keep veterinarians rolling

Normal biosecurity focus moves to include human health

Reading Time: 2 minutes Technology and long-established client relationships have allowed farm animal veterinarians to maintain somewhat regular operations, albeit with some notable changes, during the ongoing pandemic. Widely used telehealth services, in particular, have helped keep a semblance of normalcy. “We’re a large vet service so that means we’ve had to make more changes than if we only […] Read more


Canada’s pork sector up to speed, aware of challenges

Processing plants enhancing biosecurity; producers being urged to watch their stress levels

Reading Time: 2 minutes They’re adding protective plexiglass shields, bringing in trailers to separate groups of workers, and boosting communication on biosecurity. It’s all part of an ongoing effort to ensure pork processing plants aren’t disrupted by COVID-19. “I’m very impressed by our packers, and for the workers for coming to work every day and being there and realizing […] Read more

Take extra steps to keep farm workers safe during COVID-19

Add biosecurity practices, or ramp up the ones you already employ

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmers concerned about the spread of COVID-19 can learn from the hog sector on the matter of protecting themselves and their workers, says a leading expert on biosecurity in the pork industry. “This is the world of biosecurity that the swine industry deals with on a daily basis,” said Dr. Egan Brockhoff, veterinarian counsellor for […] Read more