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PED Back with Vengeance over Winter?

27 November 2014
National Pig Association - The voice of the UK pig industry

US - It's too soon to say whether, after its warm weather truce, PEDv will return with a vengeance to United States pig farms this winter, writes Digby Scott of the UK's National Pig Association.

But early indications are not good. So far this month (to 14 November) samples testing positive have increased to 12.4 per cent, from their September low of 8.2 per cent. Details here.

If the disease follows the same pattern as last year it will become more prevalent next month, building to a peak in February and remaining at high levels through March and April.

If this is what happens it will catapult PEDv back into the consciousness of British pig-keepers — not that it has been far from their thoughts anyway — and will give added impetus to plans for a voluntary PEDv charter, which also cover swine dysentery.

The Significant Diseases Charter is the brainchild of the industry's Pig Health and Welfare Council, which is made up of Defra, Animal and Plant Health Agency, BPEX, Pig Veterinary Society, NPA, and others.

The goal is to have the charter good to go by April, with a complete set of standard operating procedures to help pig-keepers protect their units from PEDv should it arrive in this country.

It is envisaged there will be an online sign-up form where pig-keepers will be asked to give some basic information about their units, so that support can be provided promptly in the event of an outbreak.

Support will likely include cleaning and disinfecting, and could even include killing-out on early units that go down with PEDv — but details have yet to be finalised.

As these measures will be taken for the good of the industry, it is envisaged they should be funded by the industry as a whole, via the pig levy — but this has yet to be confirmed.

Signing up to the industry's proposed disease charter will bring responsibilities around notification of the disease and movements on and off a unit if it goes down with PEDv, but it will also ensure access to support.

It is hoped that by the New Year the industry will be in a position to put a proposal to government that the disease be made notifiable, which will mean it must be reported on suspicion, allowing support measures to be put in place promptly.

ThePigSite News Desk

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