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California Department of Food and Agriculture


Swine Health Information
and Resources



Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV)

PED is a viral disease that is associated with outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in swine (more) ...


The swine industry is invaluable to California's agriculture. Our branch aids in the management of swine diseases that cannot be managed by a single producer and their veterinarian. If you raise swine, having a private practitioner to aid in disease diagnosis is important because of the highly contagious nature of some diseases to swine, other species of livestock and/or people. The risks of disease introduction are greater than ever, because of expanding international trade and travel. A highly transmissible foreign animal disease can spread rapidly if undetected or detected but not reported. Some signs to look for are blisters on hooves and on the snout, unusual or unexplained illness, hemorrhagic septicemias, unusual skin lesions ranging from cyanotic patches on the ears and abdomen to raised, scabby lesions mainly on the legs, high morbidity or mortality. If you suspect you are dealing with such a disease, contact your district office.

The demand for swine in California is increasing greatly. Expanding ethnic populations have created new demands on the market place. Some marketing may occur through non-traditional avenues, which are not easily monitored. The Animal Health Branch recognizes this potential risk and approaches issues accordingly when dealing with diseases within the various segments of the swine industry. CDFA continues to develop programs and policies that are adjustable to the continuing changes in the industry, while at the same time protecting the well-being of swine and other livestock in California.

With an extensive wild/feral pig hybrid swine population in the state, California recognizes that swine diseases such as Pseudorabies and Brucellosis, which have been eradicated from commercial herds, can be reintroduced to domestic swine through exposure to feral swine. If you suspect feral swine have intermingled with a commercial herd, herds with outdoor access or transitional swine, report it to your district office.

Since animal diseases may affect swine populations in any state, there are Federal-State Cooperative Programs (FSC) that address these diseases. Swine Pseudorabies and Brucellosis, Classical Swine Fever and the Swine Health Protection Act are all examples of FSC programs.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV)

PED is a viral disease that is associated with outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting in swine. PED is not a zoonotic disease, does not affect people, and is not a food safety concern. For more information see our Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) page.

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Swine Influenza

It is important to recognize that swine flu is not a threat to the food supply. According to the Center for Disease Control, influenza viruses have not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork (pig meat) or other products derived from pigs.

Swine influenza virus (SIV) in pigs has been present in the United States over 80 years. Classical swine influenza is a respiratory disease of swine caused by a type A influenza virus. Influenza viruses that commonly circulate in swine are called "swine influenza viruses" or "swine flu viruses." Like human influenza viruses, there are different subtypes and strains of swine influenza viruses. For more information see our Swine Influenza page.

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Biosecurity

Biosecurity involves rules and guidelines designed to maintain the healthiest swine herd possible. It does this through procedures that limit the chance of exposing the herd to disease and to contain any disease that does occur in a herd. Because most diseases are introduced into herds through transportation and new animal introduction, all biosecurity programs must take these areas into serious consideration. The National Pork Board offers information that helps producers formulate a plan to protect their swine herds. Information regarding biosecurity and control is also available on line from the American Association of Swine Veterinarians by accessing their publications link.

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Classical Swine Fever

Classical swine fever (CSF), also known as hog cholera, is a highly contagious viral disease of swine. CSF was eradicated from the United States in 1978 after a 16-year effort by the industry and State and Federal governments. Today, only 16 other countries are free of CSF. While CSF does not cause foodborne illness in people, economic losses to pork producers would be severe if the disease were to become established again in this country.

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Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a debilitating disease affecting all cloven–hoofed animals, including cattle, pigs, and sheep. Clinical signs commonly seen in cattle are drooling, lip smacking, and lameness, caused by blisters (vesicles) on the tongue, dental pad and feet. Sheep and pigs have similar, but often less pronounced, clinical signs. For more information see our Foot and Mouth Disease web page.

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Nipah Virus

The outbreak of Nipah disease in Malaysia, which has caused human fatalities, has been attributed to a viral infection in pigs. The disease in pigs is generally associated with low mortality but high morbidity. Clinical signs in young pigs include mild to severe coughing, with varying reports of mortality and morbidity. For more information see the Merck Veterinary Manual Nipah Virus Infection Information.

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Porcine Circovirus Disease

Porcine circovirus disease (PCVD) is the term for a viral disease of pigs that has recently emerged as a major problem in the US. The disease is caused by Porcine Circovirus Type 2 (PCV2). Not all pigs will develop the clinical signs of PCVD. However, most swine are infected with PCV2.

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Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)

PRRS is a recently recognized viral disease of pigs that is responsible for significant economic losses throughout the country. Currently, CDFA participates in monitoring for this disease through the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, but no control program has been proposed.

Preventing the spread of PRRS virus within and between pig populations is a critical component of a farm's disease control program. To aid in controlling the spread of this agent, researchers at the University of Minnesota's Swine Disease Eradication Center (SDEC) compiled the Biosecurity Protocols for the Prevention of Spread of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus. Development of this manual was funded in part through a grant from the AASV Foundation.

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Pseudorabies (Swine)

Pseudorabies is a disease caused by a virus, which primarily affects swine but is occasionally transmitted from pigs to cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, and wild animals. It is also known as Aujeszky’s disease and “mad itch”. Pseudorabies fact sheet

The Pseudorabies Eradication Program began in 1989 and California became stage V free of the program in February 2001. The State-Federal-Industry cooperative program effectively eliminated the virus from commercial swine in 2004 and all States commercial swine are PRV Free. This program has moved to post-eradication surveillance as outlined in the PRV Surveillance Plan.

PRV still exists in feral swine. Sporadic cases are occasionally identified in swine herds with exposure to feral swine.

Surveillance

Targeted surveillance is utilized for PRV because it increases the odds of rapidly finding disease and helps protect and ensure the commercial swine industry is disease free. The surveillance plan has three goals:

  1. Rapid detection
  2. Demonstration of freedom
  3. Monitoring risk of PRV introduction

To support these goals, samples are collected from diagnostic laboratories, premises with feral swine exposure, premises with increased risk of exposure to feral swine, markets and buying stations, and various slaughter establishments including sow-boar and market swine.

For more information:

Pseudorabies CDFA Fact Sheet
USDA Swine Disease Information
State Status Map

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Swine Brucellosis

Brucellosis in pigs is an infectious and contagious disease caused by the bacteria, Brucella suis. The disease spreads in semen during breeding and by ingesting, inhaling, or eye contact with bacteria in milk, reproductive fluids, placenta, aborted fetuses and urine. The disease primarily occurs in adult pigs which show non-specific infertility, abortion or lack of sexual drive. Boars can show signs of orchitis, lameness, arthritis, abscesses and posterior paralysis. There is no treatment for the disease and no effective vaccine. For more information see our Swine Brucellosis web page.

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Vesicular Stomatitis

Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a virus–caused disease that primarily affects cattle, horses, and swine. The disease can also affect many other species of animals and has occurred in sheep, goats, wildlife, and occasionally humans. The major significance of the disease is its nearly identical appearance to the truly devastating foot and mouth disease, which was eradicated from the United States nearly seven decades ago. For more information visit our Vesicular Stomatitis Web Page.

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Swine Garbage Feeding

Many foreign animal diseases, including classical swine fever and foot and mouth disease, may be spread by feeding raw garbage derived from meat products to swine. The swine garbage feeding regulations are the direct result of the past occurrence of swine vesicular exanthema and its spread by garbage feeding. The regulations were written in 1954, following 20 years of unsuccessful attempts to eradicate the disease. For more information see our Swine Garbage Feeding web page.

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