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Tests confirm third case of deadly pig virus in Ontario

The first case of a deadly pig virus that has killed millions of baby pigs in the U.S. has been confirmed in Canada.

MOE DOIRON/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Officials in Ontario confirm a third farm has been infected with a highly contagious and deadly pig virus.

A spokeswoman for the province's ministry of agriculture says tests conducted on a hog farm where the animals had fallen ill confirm an outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea.

Susan Murray says the news is "unfortunate but not unexpected," given the farm's close links to another farm infected by the virus.

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The country's first case of PED was discovered last week on a farm in southwestern Ontario, and officials say hundreds of piglets there have died from the disease.

The virus has also decimated herds in the U.S., and Canadian hog producers have said they worry the same could happen here.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who also serves as agriculture minister, is set to discuss a possible national strategy to contain the virus with her federal, provincial and territorial counterparts Thursday.

A group representing Ontario's hog farmers has warned the virus could cost the country's pork industry tens of millions of dollars in one year alone if it spreads to other provinces.

Officials stress, however, that there is no risk to human health or food safety.

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