Crop and Livestock Pest and Disease

Greenview strives to uphold the Agricultural Pests Act by working with Alberta Agriculture to conduct surveys for pests and diseases.   

In addition to working with the Provincial Government, Greenview believes it is beneficial to survey for additional crop diseases that can potentially be economically damaging to the industry.   

Greenview has created a document that can be used by anyone or company accessing agricultural lands to assist with assessing and mitigating the introduction of crop pests and diseases onto a property. Agricultural Pest and Weed Seed Management Guidelines

Crop Diseases

Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease that affects cruciferous crops (canola and cabbage family) and is becoming more prevalent in the Peace Region. This disease, when left unchecked, can reduce crop yieldsGreenview believes in taking active measures to prevent the establishment of and/or control clubroot by promoting longer crop rotations, open communication with producers, and active scouting for infestations. 

Policy 6308: Clubroot of Canola 
Greenview publishes an annual map showing where the risks for clubroot are per township.

More information on Clubroot of Canola can be found at: 

Blackleg is a disease of canola and other cabbage family crops and is caused by two species of fungi; one is highly virulent and can lead to serious yield losses in susceptible varieties, and the other is a mild species and is of less concern to producersBoth blackleg fungi species can be found across western Canada, where canola is grown.  
Greenview believes in taking active measures to prevent the establishment of and/or control blackleg by promoting longer crop rotations, open communication with producers, and active scouting for infestations. Policy 6316: Pest Control  
More information on Blackleg of Canola can be found at: 

Fusarium head blight (FHB), also known as scab or tombstone, is a serious fungal disease of wheat (including durum), barley, oats and other small cereal grains and corn. It can also affect wild and tame grass species. However, the crops most affected are wheat, barley and corn. 

FHB affects kernel development, reducing yield and grade. It can also contaminate grain with a fungal toxin (mycotoxin) produced in infected seeds. Infection of the harvested grain and/or mycotoxin production negatively affects: 

  • livestock feed 
  • baking and milling quality of wheat 
  • biofuel (ethanol) production 
  • malting and brewing qualities of malt barley 

For detailed information on FHB and management practices for containing its spread, see Fusarium Head Blight of Barley and Wheat 

  • Since the removal of Fusarium Graminearum from the Agricultural Pests Act, Greenview has recognized the importance of continued surveillance of this economically damaging pest and strives to work with Greenview producers to provide information on the control of Fusarium Graminearum.  
  • For more information, please visit:

Aphanomyces is an organism that belongs to a group of fungus-like root pathogens commonly referred to as “water moulds.” As the name indicates, it is particularly adapted to wet, waterlogged soils. There is one seed treatment registered for early-season suppression of Aphanomyces (Intego™ Solo, currently only registered for use on lentils). Because Aphanomyces can infect at any time in the growing season and spores can persist for many years in the soil, Aphanomyces is the most difficult to manage and, therefore, the most serious pathogen among the root rot pathogens. 

Greenview has recognized the importance of surveillance of this potentially economically damaging and persistent crop pest and strives to work with Greenview producers to provide information on the control of Aphanomyces.  

For more information, please visit: 

Verticillium stripe of canola is caused by the fungal species Verticillium longisporum. Verticillium stripe was first discovered in Canadian canola production areas in 2014. Disease symptoms in canola include leaf chlorosis, early ripening, stunting and, as the disease progresses, necrosis shedding of the stem tissue. Once the plant is fully ripe, the stem peels to reveal tiny black microsclerotia, which resemble ground pepper in appearance. These microsclerotia remain on the plant stem or fall into the soil. Those in stems are released in the soil as the stems decay. They are hardy and can survive in the soil for many years. Microsclerotia can move with surface and groundwater through wind dispersal of infested soil and crop debris, planting and harvesting equipment contaminated with infested soil or crop debris, seed contaminated with infested soil or crop debris and people (for example, infested soil adhering to footwear) from one field to another.  

Greenview has recognized the importance of surveillance of this potentially economically damaging and persistent crop pest and strives to work with Greenview producers to provide information on the control of Verticillium Wilt. 

For more information, please visit: 

Grasshoppers can be a significant pest of cultivated crops, especially in drier years. Greenview works with the provincial governments to conduct grasshopper surveys, which help to create forecasting maps. To view the maps, please visit: 
For more information on grasshoppers, please visit: 

Bertha Armyworms are one of the most significant insect pests of canola in Canada. Greenview participates in a monitoring program with Provincial Specialists to monitor Berth Armyworm populations, which assists the specialist with forecasting outbreaks 
For more information on Bertha Armyworms, please visit: 

Diamondback moth larvae feed on all plants in the Brassicaceae family (canola and mustards). Adult moths overwinter in the prairies, but infestations will occur when adult moths arrive on wind currents in the spring from the southern or western United States.   
Infestations vary depending on the arrival times and population sizes of the spring migrants. Greenview works with provincial specialists to assist with monitoring efforts for Diamondback moths.   
For more information on Diamondback Moths, please visit: 

Wheat Midge is found wherever wheat is grown and has been causing significant crop damage in recent years in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Southern British Columbia. Greenview is working with provincial specialists to conduct monitoring efforts that assist with the forecasting maps. To view these maps, please visit: 
For more information on Wheat Midge, please visit: 

Animal Diseases

Greenview assists with the control of animal disease as directed by the Animal Health Act and as directed by the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian. 

The Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian 

There are a number of provincially reportable and notifiable animal diseases that, based on their designation, should be reported.   

  • Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays) 
  • Phone: 780-427-3448 
  • Toll-Free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta) 
  • After business hours: 1-800-524-0051 
  • Fax: 780-415-0810 

Canadian Food Inspection Agency 

  • There are a number of federally reportable diseases which must be reported to CFIA.   
  • Animal health contact for the Peace Region: 780-831-0335 


Alberta Farm Animal Care has a 24-hour toll-free number individuals can use to report on or ask questions regarding animal welfare, such as;  

  • If you are concerned that livestock may be neglected or in distress 
  • If you have a question about livestock care or livestock care practices 
  • If you see livestock that is in an emergency situation, i.e. barn fire, trailer rollover, barn roof collapse 
  • If you are in need of assistance or support in taking care of your own livestock 
  • If you need an Emergency Livestock Handling Equipment Trailer 


  • Individuals can report visibly neglected or abused animals to the SPCA 
  • Phone: 1-800-455-9003 

Avian Influenza (AI), sometimes called ‘avian flu,’ is a contagious viral disease that affects many domestic and wild bird species.  

There are different degrees of illness occur in birds because of the different strains and pathogenicity (severity) of AI. Birds may not always show signs of disease.

Clinical signs in poultry can vary widely and include the following: 

  • no signs of disease at all and quick recovery from the infection 
  • depression, droopiness, and/or loss of appetite 
  • sudden drop in egg production, with many of the eggs soft-shelled 
  • purplish-blue colouring of wattles and combs, with blisters on the combs 
  • swelling of the skin under the eyes 
  • coughing, sneezing 
  • diarrhea 
  • nervous signs, such as a lack of coordination and an inability to stand or walk 
  • a few deaths over several days in the flock, followed by a surge in mortality that can reach up to 100% in 48 hours

Clinical signs can vary, so it’s better to be cautious and report any birds that might be sick.

Avian Influenza is both a provincially reportable disease for domestic birds under Alberta’s Animal Health Act and requires immediate action to control or eradicate it. In wild birds, it is a provincially notifiable disease.

All suspected or confirmed cases must be reported to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) within 24 hours; 

  • Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays) 
  • Phone: 780-427-3448 
  • Toll-Free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta) 
  • After business hours: 1-800-524-0051 
  • Fax: 780-415-0810 

Outbreaks in domestic poultry should be reported both federally to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and provincially to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) 

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cattle.

Although the exact cause of BSE is unknown, it is associated with the accumulation of abnormal or misfolded proteins (called BSE prions) in the brains of cattle. There is no treatment or vaccine currently available for the disease.

Because BSE is a slow-developing disease, infected cattle may not show any signs of the disease for up to 5 to 7 years after exposure to BSE prions. 

Signs of disease vary but are always progressive and may include: 

  • nervous or aggressive behaviour 
  • abnormal posture 
  • incoordination 
  • difficulty standing 
  • weight loss 
  • decreased milk production 

These signs may progress for up to 6 months until the animal dies. 

BSE is a federally reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act. It is also a provincially reportable disease under Alberta’s Animal Health Act.

All suspected or confirmed cases of BSE in cattle or yaks must be reported by contacting:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3448
Toll-free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
After business hours: 1-800-524-0051
Fax: 780-415-0810 


Johne’s disease (paratuberculosis) is a chronic debilitating disease that affects the intestines of all ruminants, including cattle, sheep and goats. This disease is caused by Mycobacterium Avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP), which is closely related to the organisms that cause tuberculosis and leprosy. 

Clinical Signs: Clinical signs of disease are rarely observed in animals under 2 or 3 years of age. However, calves exposed to a heavy burden of MAP may show clinical signs at 18 months of age. Affected animals may develop intermittent bouts of diarrhea that gradually become more frequent. As a result of the chronic protein loss through diarrhea, affected animals may develop ventral edema (bottle jaw). Other animals suddenly develop diarrhea, which persists until death. 

Progressive weight loss is typical of this disease and may begin before diarrhea develops. Although affected animals appear unthrifty, with a rough hair coat and declining milk production, their appetite remains normal until the terminal stages of the disease. 

Weight loss without diarrhea is the main sign of disease in sheep and goats.

Diagnosis: There is no practical diagnostic test that reliably detects infections by MAP in asymptomatic animals. Culture of feces for MAP is expensive because of the long time required to grow the organism. Cultures must be incubated for up to 4 months before they can be called negative. 

Intermittent shedding also makes a negative fecal culture difficult to interpret. Several blood tests are available, but the number of false positives and negatives makes these tests unreliable. 

Animals with chronic, non-responsive diarrhea and progressive emaciation, coupled with a normal appetite, should be considered as JD suspects. Producers should contact their veterinarians at this stage. 

Johne’s disease is confirmed by a postmortem examination where increased thickness and transverse folds in the intestinal lining are observed.

Johne’s disease is a provincially notifiable disease under Alberta’s Animal Health Act and must be monitored. All suspected or confirmed cases must be reported to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) within 24 hours.

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays) 

Phone: 780-427-3448
Toll-free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
After business hours: 1-800-524-0051
Fax: 780-415-0810 

Brucellosis is a disease caused by several species of the Brucella bacterium. It is chronic and contagious. 

The disease can affect many species of mammals, particularly cattle, swine, bison, elk, deer, goats, sheep, horses and other ruminants. 

Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can spread from animals to humans. 

There are various types of brucellosis, including the following: 

  • bovine brucellosis (Brucella abortus), which primarily affects cattle, bison and elk 
  • porcine brucellosis (Brucella suis), which primarily affects swine 
  • caprine/ovine brucellosis (Brucella melitensis), which primarily affects goats and sheep 

Humans can become infected by all types of brucellosis, including a fourth type, which is known as “rangiferine” brucellosis. It occurs in reindeer and caribou in northern Canada.

Clinical Signs: Following infection, the bacteria spread through the blood and lymphatic system of the animal, infecting many tissues, particularly the reproductive organs, mammary glands and joints. This can cause abortions, weakened offspring and infertility. 

In cattle, abortions are the main clinical sign of the disease. Most animals abort during the first pregnancy following infection and will carry subsequent pregnancies to term. However, they remain carriers for life and can continue to shed large quantities of the bacteria during subsequent births and occasionally in their milk. 

Infected males may develop a testicular infection that reduces fertility. Some infected animals develop joint infections-especially of the knees-which cause enlarged joints, lameness, and reduced productivity. 

In horses, in addition to being a cause of abortion, brucellosis can also cause draining sores on the head and neck. 

Any infected animal may carry brucellosis for life. 

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays) 

Phone: 780-427-3448
Toll-free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
After business hours: 1-800-524-0051
Fax: 780-415-0810 

Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a bacterial disease associated with infections of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis), a species in the M. tuberculosis complex. The disease mostly affects cattle but can become established in other species. In some countries, specific wildlife species can maintain infections and pose the risk of re-infecting cattle. 

This is a federally reportable disease, and all cases must be reported to the CFIA. Bovine TB is also a provincially notifiable animal disease. See below for How to report suspected or confirmed cases. 

Clinical Signs: In Canada, few bTB infections progress to the point of presenting clinical signs. But when progressive disease does occur, the general signs are: 

  • weakness 
  • loss of appetite 
  • weight-loss 
  • fluctuating fever 

When the lungs are extensively diseased, there can be an intermittent, hacking cough. 

For more information on the disease, see Bovine tuberculosis fact sheet (CFIA). 

How to Report: Bovine tuberculosis is a provincially notifiable disease under Alberta’s Animal Health Act and must be monitored. It is also a reportable disease under the federal Health of Animals Act and all cases must be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 

All suspected or confirmed cases must be reported to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) within 24 hours.

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3448
Toll-free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
After business hours: 1-800-524-0051
Fax: 780-415-0810

Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum are the common warble flies of cattle and occasionally other hosts in the northern hemisphere.  They used to be common in cattle in western Canada, but effective treatments and legislated control programs have greatly reduced their occurrence.  There are, however, still localized hot spots of infestation. 

Adult Hypoderma are free-living and do not feed on animals. During the summer, after mating, the females lay eggs on the hairs of cattle, usually on the lower parts of the body.  After a few days, the larva that has developed in each egg hatches and penetrates the skin.  With H. bovis subsequent larval migrations follow the nerves to the epidural fat, where the larvae remain for the winter. With H. lineatum, larval migrations follow connective tissue towards the diaphragm and then on to the submucosa of the esophagus, where they overwinter.  In the late winter, the larvae of both species move into the subcutaneous tissues along the back and perforate the skin.  After several weeks, they drop to the ground and pupate.  The adult flies subsequently released from the pupae are most active in warm weather, mate, and die within a couple of weeks.

Warble flies are significant because of the damage they do to cattle hides, especially the perforations they cause and the inflammatory changes they create in the subcutaneous tissues.  The behaviour of the adult female flies during egg laying can also be very troublesome, especially for dairy cows.  The flies make a buzzing noise, dive bomb the cattle, and often make repeated attacks.  Affected animals panic and run about, and weight gain and milk production can be reduced.  Also, in regions where Hypoderma is common, treatment too late in the fall can kill the migrating larvae in the spinal canal (H. bovis) or esophagus (H. lineatum), with the possibility of paresis or bloat. 

Clinical Signs: The flies, especially H. bovis, are extremely irritating as they approach the cattle and lay eggs, and they may interfere with feeding and production and cause the cattle to stampede (“gad about”). The larvae of H. bovis in the spinal canal and those of H. lineatum in the esophagus may be associated with neurological signs or bloat, respectively, especially if they are killed by treatment while in these locations. These complications are much less common in Canada than previously, presumably because the incidence of the infestation has declined. The breathing holes in the hide caused by the larvae are a cause of economic loss. 

The characteristic swellings and then holes along the back in the late winter and spring are indicative of infestation, particularly if a larva can be extracted. Be careful not to rupture the larvae while they are still in the cattle, as this may result in an allergic reaction. There are also serological tests for the detection of Hypoderma, especially on a herd basis, but they are not used in the field in Canada. 

Warble Flies are declared a pest under the Agricultural Pest Act and the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation 

For information on how to control warble flies, please contact your local veterinarian. 

Anthrax is found in most areas of the world and has been reported throughout recorded history. It is an acute, naturally occurring disease caused by a spore-forming bacterium called Bacillus anthracis. When exposed to air, these bacteria form inactive spores that can survive in the soil for years. 

Anthrax in animals is almost always fatal and causes death very rapidly. Death loss can vary from a single animal to a scenario where large numbers of animals die in a very short period of time. Economic losses to producers can be significant. 

While most animals are susceptible to anthrax, it primarily affects and is fatal in herbivores. In Alberta, most anthrax outbreaks in recent history have been recorded in beef cattle and bison. However, anthrax can also occur in dairy cattle, sheep, goats and horses. 

Omnivores such as pigs and humans are somewhat less susceptible, while carnivores such as dogs, cats, wolves and bears are relatively resistant. Birds are the least susceptible. 

Clinical Signs:  

          In ruminants 

  • most commonly found dead with no premonitory signs 
  • staggering, trembling and difficulty breathing may be observed a few hours before collapse, terminal convulsions and death 
  • occasionally see an acute form with signs for up to 2 days before death, including fever and excitement progressing to depression, stupor, disorientation, tremors, difficulty breathing, abortion, congested mucous membranes and bloody discharge from orifices 
  • a chronic form with subcutaneous swellings of the neck, thorax and shoulders is uncommon 
  • in carcasses, leaking of blood and blood-tinged fluids from carcass orifices, blood is not clotting, and there are bruises (ecchymotic hemorrhages) in tissues, gross enlargement of the spleen and an absence of stiffness (rigour mortis) 

    In horses

  • sudden, rapid death is less common in horses than in ruminants 
  • can see fever, chills, loss of appetite, depression and severe colic with bloody diarrhea for up to a week before death 
  • subcutaneous swellings in the neck, sternum, lower abdomen and groin (inguinal region) are common 

    In pigs 

  • inflammatory swelling of the face and throat is quite characteristic 
  • may also be found dead or with signs similar to ruminants and horses

Anthrax is a provincially notifiable disease under Alberta’s Animal Health Act and must be monitored. It is also a reportable disease under the federal Health of Animals Act. 

This means veterinarians must notify the province, and practitioners and laboratories must report suspected positive anthrax test results to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 

All suspected or confirmed cases must be reported to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) within 24 hours.

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3448
Toll-free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
After business hours: 1-800-524-0051
Fax: 780-415-0810 


Scrapie is a fatal disease that affects the central nervous system of sheep and goats. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). Other TSEs include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. 

There are two forms of scrapie: classical scrapie and atypical scrapie. Atypical scrapie is thought to be a spontaneous degenerative condition of older sheep and is not believed to be transmitted to animals under natural conditions. Classical scrapie can be transmitted to other animals. 

In Canada, classical scrapie is a reportable disease. Reportable diseases are outlined in the Health of Animals Act and Reportable Diseases Regulations. Producers and veterinarians who suspect an animal may be infected with scrapie must contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This is required by law. 

Clinical Signs: Scrapie is a disease that develops slowly. Clinical signs are only seen in adult animals, typically between two and five years of age, and in some animals, the disease has taken up to eight years to develop. However, once an animal appears ill, it will typically die within a few months. 

Signs vary tremendously between cases of scrapie. An older animal can show changes in general behaviour, such as aggression or apprehension, tremors, incoordination or abnormal gaits. However, a mature animal with a poor coat, or one that is found dead, can also be diagnosed with the disease. 

The disease seems to present itself differently in different countries. Wasting and debility (weakness) appear to be more prominent clinical features in North America, while pruritus (intense itching) remains the most noted clinical feature in Europe. 

Owners of scrapie-infected animals may be unaware that there is a problem with their flock or herd. Over time, especially in infected herds/flocks that contain a high percentage of susceptible sheep or goats, owners may experience significant production losses. Infected animals sold from these herds/flocks can spread the disease to other herds/flocks. 

For more information on Scrapie, please visit: 

Equine infectious anemia (EIA) is a potentially fatal viral disease affecting horses and other members of the Equidae family, such as donkeys and mules. 

EIA-infected animals remain carriers of the virus for life and can be a source of infection for other animals.  

Clinical Signs: The incubation period is generally 2-4 weeks but may range from 1 week to 3 months. Infected horses may show the following signs: 

  • anorexia 
  • depression 
  • general weakness 
  • intermittent fever up to 41°C 
  • jaundice 
  • small hemorrhages under the tongue and eye 
  • swelling of the extremities
  • weight loss 
  • death 

In some cases, a loss of coordination may be the only clinical sign.  

Foals infected prior to birth are often aborted or die within 2 months of birth. 

Many animals show temporary recovery from the severe stage of EIA and may even appear normal for 2 – 3 weeks before relapsing with similar but less severe signs. Episodes of clinical illness are often associated with the use of steroid drugs or with periods of stress such as hard work, hot weather, racing or pregnancy. 

EIA is listed as a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act. Accordingly, when EIA is suspected, it must be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 


Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of animals caused by coccidianprotozoa. The disease spreads from one animal to another by contact with infected feces or ingestion of infected tissue. Diarrhea, which may become bloody in severe cases, is the primary symptom. Most animals infected with coccidia are asymptomatic, but young or immunocompromised animals may suffer severe symptoms and death. 

  • Poultry: Coccidiosis is a significant disease for chickens, especially affecting young chicks. It can be fatal or leave the bird with compromised digestion. There are chick feed mixes that contain a coccidiostat to manage exposure levels and control disease. In an outbreak, coccidiocidal medications are given. Examples are toltrazuril (Baycox) or amprolium. After multiple infections, surviving chickens become resistant to the coccidia.[citation needed]
  • Cattle: Coccidiosis (in cattle, also known as Eimeriosis) is one of the most important diseases in calves and youngstock both under housing conditions and when grazing. Symptoms are generally caused by the species Eimeria zuernii and Eimeria bovis and include loss of appetite, fatigue, dehydration, watery, sometimes bloody, and diarrhea.[4] Outbreaks are known to occur in cattle herds. The parasite can infect all animals on the farm, and in some countries, the parasite is present on all farms.[5] Coccidiosis affects the growth and sometimes survival of the calves and consequently affects the production and the profitability of cattle livestock production.[6] 
  • Goats: Coccidiosis is also present in goats and is the largest cause of diarrhea in young goats.[7] It can also cause high temperature and loss of appetite. 
  • Pigs: Pigs around the world, especially piglets, are often infected with a range of coccidian species, of which Isosporasuis appears to be the most significant. The life cycle of the parasite is typical for a coccidian with asexual (merogony) and sexual (gametogony) reproduction within enterocytes of the small intestine that result in the production of oocysts, which leave the hosts in the feces. To become infective for other hosts, these oocysts must undergo development (sporulation) in the environment. Under ideal conditions, this takes a few days. Once sporulated, each oocyst contains eight sporozoites. Following ingestion of the oocyst by a host, the sporozoites are released and penetrate enterocytes, thus completing the cycle. Clinical signs in pigs include diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss and depression, and are more likely in young animals and in those maintained in sub-optimal environmental conditions.  Diagnosis is based on clinical signs as well as finding oocysts in the feces. In some cases, there may be co-infections with enteric bacteria viruses or other concomitant diseases.  There are no approved products approved in Canada for the treatment of this parasite in pigs. Isospora suis is not known to be zoonotic. 

European foulbrood (Melissococcus plutonius) is a contagious brood disease of honey bees (Apis mellifera) with near-global distribution. In Alberta, European foulbrood (EFB) is listed as a bee disease under the Alberta Bee Regulation. Typically, symptoms of EFB arise early in the season when food sources are limited. Historically, EFB has spontaneously resolved with a strong nectar flow. However, in recent years, infection has persisted throughout the summer. It can have devastating effects on an apiary and can spread to neighbouring operations if not managed properly. 


Note: Visibility and appearance of symptoms depend on disease stage, infection level, and colonization by secondary bacteria. 

  •  A spotty brood pattern  
  •  Dead and dying larvae 
  •  Larvae will begin to change from pearly white to yellow in colour, then to grey and eventually a brownish-black colour. Segmentation may not be visible.
  • The midgut of infected larvae may appear chalky white compared to a healthy midgut, which is yellow-orange. The tracheae may also be visible in each segment of the bee.  
  • Larvae may become twisted or stretched in the cell and will move away from the characteristic “c” shape of healthy larvae at the “bottom” of the cell.  
  • If the cell is capped, the capping may look sunken or perforated, similar to AFB. However, EFB-infected larvae are watery and will only rope less than 1.5 cm when drawn out with a toothpick.  
  • Once an infected larva dries out, it can form a scale or plaque on the cell walls. This plaque is easy to remove, unlike AFB, and lighter in colour than a typical AFB scale.  
  • The detection of a foul odour is not a reliable diagnostic feature of EFB. The presence of an odour would be dependent on colonization by secondary bacteria.
  • In addition to typical EFB, there have been increased incidences of 1) ‘melted’ or ‘deflated larvae; 2) larvae infected with EFB at later stages of development; and 3) higher than average number of EFB-infected larvae per colony.

For more information, please visit: European Foulbrood Fact Sheet

Leptospirosis is a blood infection caused by the bacteria Leptospira[8] that can infect humans, dogs, rodents and many other wild and domesticated animals.[8] Signs and symptoms can range from none to mild (headaches, muscle pains, and fevers) to severe (bleeding in the lungs or meningitis).[5]Weil’s disease, the acute, severe form of leptospirosis, causes the infected individual to become jaundiced (skin and eyes become yellow), develop kidney failure, and bleed.[6] Bleeding from the lungs associated with leptospirosis is known as  severe pulmonary haemorrhage syndrome.[5] 

Infected animals can have no, mild, or severe symptoms;[18] the presenting symptoms may vary by the type of animal.[15][18] In some animals, the bacteria live in the reproductive tract, leading to transmission during mating.[15] 

Leptospirosis can cause abortions after 2–12 weeks in cattle and 1–4 weeks of infection in pigs. The illness tends to be milder in reservoir hosts. The most commonly affected organs are the kidneys, liver, and reproductive system, but other organs can be affected.[27] 

Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is the most common disease associated with Leptospira infection in horses in North America and may lead to blindness.[68][69] ERU is an autoimmune disease involving antibodies against Leptospira proteins LruA and LruB cross-reacting with eye proteins.[68] 

The risk of death or disability in infected animals varies depending upon the species and age of the animals. In adult pigs and cattle, reproductive signs are the most common signs of leptospirosis. Up to 40% of cows may have a spontaneous abortion. Younger animals usually develop more severe diseases. 

For more information, please visit: 

PRRS is an acronym (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome) for a viral disease characterized by two overlapping clinical presentations, reproductive impairment or failure in breeding animals, and respiratory disease in pigs of any age. PRRS is the most economically significant disease to affect US swine production since the eradication of classical swine fever (CSF). 

PRRS is probably the most important swine disease of the last half-century. Serological testing has revealed there are many infected herds in which signs are not apparent. Where signs are apparent, they vary and are influenced by (1) the virulence of the virus, (2) whether it is an initial infection or ongoing (endemic with herd immunity), (3) the age group affected, (4) other disease-causing agents present in the population, and (5) herd size and management practices. 

Breeding age gilts, sows, and boars: Clinical signs may include a period of anorexia, fever, lethargy, depression, and perhaps respiratory distress or vomiting. Mild cyanosis of the ears, abdomen and vulva has been reported in some outbreaks. Reproductive problems, often the most obvious signs, include a decrease in the number of dams that conceive or farrow. There is usually an increase in premature farrowing, late-term abortions, stillborn or weak piglets and mummified fetuses. Preweaning mortality is high. Nursing pigs may have dyspnea (“thumping”). The period for reproductive signs varies with herd size but is usually two to three months in duration. A slow improvement in reproductive performance then begins. In larger operations, signs may be cyclical, especially if naïve gilts or sows continue to be introduced into the herd. There is evidence that subpopulations within large breeding herds escape initial infection but are infected when exposed later and serve as sources of continued virus shedding. Also, herds may be infected with multiple heterologous strains of PRRS virus that are not completely cross-protective. In boars, clinical signs are similar to sows and are accompanied by a decrease in semen quality. 

Young, growing and finishing pigs: Primary clinical signs among young pigs are fever, depression, lethargy, stunting due to systemic disease, and pneumonia. Sneezing, fever and lethargy are followed by expiratory dyspnea and stunting. The peak age for respiratory disease is four to ten weeks. Postweaning mortality often is markedly increased, especially with more virulent strains and the occurrence of ever-present concurrent and secondary infections. Older pigs, especially naïve, high-health swine, have similar respiratory signs. Heterologous infections may lead to prolonged or repeated outbreaks of respiratory disease. 

For more information, please visit:

A widespread, chronic respiratory disease of swine characterized by coughing, growth retardation and reduced feed efficiency. 

The principal clinical sign is chronic, persistent, nonproductive cough. Onset often occurs about two to three weeks after exposure and usually is gradual in a herd. Coughing may persist for weeks to months. Excessive dust, irritating gases, or concurrent infections result in more severe coughing. As pneumonia develops in some pigs, dyspnea becomes more marked. Growth is retarded, and feed efficiency decreases in the face of near-normal appetites. Morbidity is high, and mortality is low. 

For more information, please visit 

Neosporosis is caused by infection with the protozoa Neospora caninum. Neospora has been found worldwide and in many species other than cattle. Currently, abortion due to Neospora has been shown in cattle, sheep and dogs. The dog and other canids (such as foxes) are the definitive hosts. They are the animals in which the parasite becomes sexually mature and reproduces. 

Clinical Signs: 

  • Abortion, between 3 and 9 months of pregnancy (particularly 5 to 7 months) 
  • Stillbirth or premature calf 
  • Occasionally, calves will have brain disease at birth 
  • No other signs were seen in the mother 
  • Repeat abortions are possible in the same cow 

For more information, please visit: 

Hantavirus is a virus that is found in the urine, saliva, or droppings of infected deer mice and some other wild rodents (cotton rats, rice rats in the southeastern United States and the white-footed mouse and the red-backed vole). It causes a rare but serious lung disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The virus does not remain active for long once outside of its host — less than 1 week outdoors and a few hours when exposed to direct sunlight.

The two main types of disease caused by a hantavirus are hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (found in North America) and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (found mainly in Europe and Asia). 

Symptoms of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome appear within 1 to 5 weeks after exposure. The average is 2 to 4 weeks. This disease is extremely serious since about 40% of the people who get the disease die. The disease begins as a flu-like illness. In the early stage, a worker may experience fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and gastrointestinal problems. However, the disease progresses rapidly, and infected people experience an abnormal fall in blood pressure, and their lungs will fill with fluid. Severe respiratory failure, resulting in death, can occur within a few days of the early-stage symptoms. 

Symptoms of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome appear within 1 to 2 weeks after exposure. Symptoms include intense headaches, back and stomach pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision and may include additional symptoms such as a flushed face, inflamed or red eyes, rash, and low blood pressure.

For more information, please visit: