- Andrea GantzThe Canadian government is pledging funds to battle Brachyspira hampsonii, which affects feeding and growth rates in pigs.
The Canadian government has pledged an investment of $260,000 to the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board (Sask Pork) to help control two diseases that are threatening swine and beef herds in Canada.
The allocation will help fund research that will target Brachyspira hampsonii, a recently discovered bacterium that causes diarrhea and colitis in pigs. Scientists will also seek to gain a better understanding of bovine genital campylobacteriosis (BCG) or “vibriosis” that can significantly reduce pregnancy rates among breeding cattle. Both studies will include diagnostics, surveillance and trials involving live animals.
Brachyspira hampsonii was recently discovered in Western Canada and is known to affect feeding and growth rates in pigs.
A recent outbreak of BCG in a Saskatchewan beef herd reduced pregnancy rates by 16 to 62 per cent. Sask Pork will have input from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association and the research will be conducted by a team of scientists at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
This investment is made through the Industry-led Research and Development stream of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698-million program.
“Our government recognizes the importance of the swine and beef sectors to the Canadian economy. This investment will help enhance the competitiveness of both these industries by expanding diagnostic and control tools available to producers,” said Brad Trost, member of parliament.
“Brachyspira hampsonii is an emerging swine disease in western Canada which needs to be better understood and controlled because it is very hard to eliminate from a herd when infected. BCG also has the potential to seriously reduce the calf crop in the important western cattle herd, so we welcome the AgriInnovation Program funding to develop products to control these serious threats,” said Florian Possberg, Sask Pork chairman.