UKRAINE - European pig farmers need to stay vigilant as the American strain of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PEDv) is detected across farms in Ukraine, writes Lucy Towers, ThePigSite Editor.
The American strain of the PED virus swept its way across farms in the US, affecting 33 states since April/May 2013 and a further 617 premises in the past week.
The same strain has now been detected at a sow unit in central Ukraine. Speaking to ThePigSite, Veterinary Surgeon, Dr John Carr, commented that he has detected three cases of PEDv in Ukraine, but the total number of cases is a lot higher and is widespread across the east and west of the country.
"It is likely that the PED virus outbreaks started early last year in Melitopol distict, within Dnepzopetrovsk region," said Dr Carr.
With the virus now in Ukraine, the rest of Europe is on high alert.
"As this is the China/US strain of the virus, not the ordinary strain of Europe, it will act as a novel virus and European pigs will have no previous protection," stressed Dr Carr.
Farms therefore need to implement even stricter biosecurity measures. However, as was with some cases in Ukraine and in the US, excellent farm biosecurity may not be enough to prevent infection.
In order to protect the spread from country to country, all live pig products from countries with the new PED virus should be tightly controlled and all imported animals should be PCR-negative to this new PED virus, he said.
Trucks/vehicles should also be disinfected before entering the farm.
It would also be easier to control if the new PED virus was made notifiable so that new outbreaks must be reported, concluded Dr Carr.
Find out more information on PED by clicking here.