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Weekly Overview: Europe Feels the Pig Disease Squeeze

27 May 2014

GLOBAL - At the VIV Europe trade show in the Netherlands last week, a Russian veterinarian described his country's experiences with African swine fever, while the porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) virus seems only now to be starting to loosen its grip in the Americas.

For three days last week, many of those involved in the European pig industry were in the Dutch city of Utrecht for the VIV Europe 2014 trade show, from where the editors posted a number of reports.

A veterinarian from Russia expressed the view that Europe had been reluctant to act over the threat of African swine fever from its eastern borders.

Speaking at a seminar during VIV Europe, Aleksey Alekseenko from the Russian veterinary organisation Rosselkhoznador said Russia had warned the European Commission of the danger of the spread of the disease through the wild boar population before the outbreaks occurred in Poland and Lithuania.

However, he said that Europe had need taken heed of the warnings and put in place measures to prevent the possible spread.

A new report on the issue of tail-biting in pigs, its prevention and tail docking was published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) last week.

Addressing tail biting will help to reduce the need for tail docking, EFSA says, adding that it has identified a number of key relationships regarding risk factors, welfare consequences and suitable animal and non-animal based indicators.

Taking a global view, the United Nations launched six Food and Agriculture Business Principles this week, designed to help agricultural communities in underdeveloped and developing regions, in particular, produce food sustainably. While receiving general support, these new principles are not the panacea that many global leaders had hoped.

An analysis of the proposals from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands points to some fundamental and elementary flaws and concerns in the way the principles have been presented and how these principles can be adopted by farming communities and implemented effectively.

And finally, on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED), there are signs of a continued slow-down in the United States in terms of PED-positive farm and pig samples. Mexico has now reported a total of 83 PED outbreaks to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

For the related disease, Porcine Delta Corona Virus (PDCoV; also known a Swine Delta Corona virus, SDCv), 40 pig farm samples (termed "swine accessions") have tested positive for the virus in the most recent report, bringing the cumulative total to 185 in 14 states. The virus has also been reported for the first time in the Canadian province of Alberta.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock



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