Olymel’s Red Deer pork plant temporarily shut down

(Resource News International) — Olymel’s hog processing plant at Red Deer, Alta. has been shut down due to the appearance of suspicious animals which arrived there from a farm in Saskatchewan, according to an official with the Canadian Pork Council.

The primary processing plant closed its doors Monday to hog shipments, according to Guy Gravelle, an Ottawa-based spokesperson with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

No shipments have been made from the plant during that time as well, he said.

Lisa Gauthier, another CFIA spokesperson in Ottawa, said preliminary test results have come back negative for a reportable animal disease.

However, the agency said, further testing is being conducted to produce definitive results and the Olymel plant remains closed until that time.

Ste-Hyacinthe, Que.-based Olymel’s Red Deer plant processes about 45,000 hogs a week.

Martin Rice, executive director at the Canadian Pork Council, said the closure was initiated because of visible signs of disease a shipment of hogs was displaying.

“The signs were of a vesicular type of a disease and there are some vesicular diseases which are extremely serious,” said Rice.

Some of the symptoms the hogs were displaying included lesions on the skin and diarrhea, according to Rice.

The shipment of live hogs in question was not processed by the plant and is not considered to be a human health risk.

Reports have confirmed that the initial farm from which the hogs were shipped has been quarantined as well.

Definitive test results are expected within 24 hours.

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