04/24/2014 02:01 EDT | Updated 06/24/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta, Ottawa spend $1.35 million to keep province free of deadly pig virus

EDMONTON - The federal and Alberta governments are spending $1.35 million on a plan to help keep diseases that kill pigs out of the province.

Since last May the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PED) has swept through more than 5,700 farms in 30 states in the U.S., killing millions of baby pigs.

The highly contagious virus has been found in recent months on farms in Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

No cases of PED, which is not a threat to human health, have been found in Alberta.

Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson says the cash will be used to improve biosecurity at pig farms and facilities.

The province says there are 380 pork producers that raise about 2.3 million market hogs each year.

"This funding for the pork sector is a proactive step to help the industry fight pig diseases and improve biosecurity measures across the province," Olson said in a release Thursday.

Biosecurity measures can include thorough cleaning of transport trucks and equipment used at farms.

Another disease of concern is the swine delta coronovirus.

The federal and Saskatchewan governments made a similar announcement last week.