UK Pig Disease Quarterly Surveillance Report - November 2004

By Veterinary Laboratories Agency - This report monitors trends in the major endemic pig diseases and utilises the farmfile and VIDA (Veterinary Investigation Disease Analysis) databases. The report is compiled using disease data gathered by the network of 15 VLA regional laboratories which carry out disease investigation in the field.
calendar icon 17 December 2004
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Quarterly Surveillance Report Pigs: Vol.8 No.3
July - September 2004 - Published Nov 2004






Highlights: Third Quarter 2004

  • The June census recorded a rise in the number of maiden gilts – possible early evidence of stabilisation of the breeding herd next year after years of decline?

  • Salmonella enterica Typhimurium remains the most common serovar in pigs. This year U288 has become the most frequently isolated type of Typhimurium in pigs.

  • Indications are that the majority of herds now only experience occasional ‘flare-ups’ of PMWS and PDNS. Nevertheless, a very few herds are experiencing the diseases for the first time, and a few others continue to have significant ongoing disease.

  • Respiratory diseases represent a major cause of losses in pigs but diagnoses this year are less than the increased frequency recorded in 2003. There is little evidence of significant influenza virus involvement in the national herd and no evidence of new strains of the virus in pigs. Nevertheless, an incident of severe respiratory disease attributed to a previously unrecorded variant of PRRSV was encountered.

  • Only a very few reports of severe reproductive losses were reported by the end of September.


The Meat and Livestock Commission Economics (, Pig Market Outlook: 04/4 October 2004, provides a recent overview of the pig sector. Despite a further three percent reduction in UK sow numbers at the June 2004 census, there was a six percent increase in maiden gilts compared with the year before. This suggests that the breeding herd may stabilise over the winter and that the long-term fall in pig numbers may cease.

Pig prices declined during the quarter to a low of 99.3p/kg dw (GB Deadweight Average Pig Price: DAPP) in mid-September, with a subsequent slight improvement. Prices are currently lower than the EU average price. Given the relative short supply of pig meat in Europe this could reduce imports of pork into the UK.

There was a reported small improvement in sow productivity but there is scope for major improvements. The poorer average quality of the home cereal crop this year – due to exceptionally high rainfall in August – has resulted in a greater supply of feed wheat with expected lower feed costs next year.

To read the full 7 page pdf report please Click Here

Source: Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) - November 2004

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