Taking Action on PCV2 - BPEX Research Scheme Starts

UK - Just a day into its new role and BPEX Ltd is making a stand with the launch of a 31.5 million PCV2 vaccine research programme. The aim of the project is to find out more about the debilitating infection and its interaction with PMWS and PDNS - persistent diseases that are still evident on many UK farms and holding back progress and improvements to efficiency
calendar icon 2 April 2008
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The BPEX board says these diseases remain the greatest health challenge to the English pig industry leading to poor physical performance and increased production costs. In tackling this challenge the aim is to build a more sustainable and competitive industry for the future.

The objective of the research project is to measure the effects of PCV2 vaccination of sows or piglets on herd health, welfare, mortality and physical performance by unit, region and on a national scale. BPEX, veterinary practices and the pharmaceutical companies involved will then be able to offer clear scientifically-based advice on the cost benefits of using Circovirus vaccines.

"... By measuring the effects of PCV2 vaccination, BPEX, vets and drug companies will be able to offer clear scientifically-based advice..."
BPEX Ltd remarks on the launch of its new PCV2 research project

This is a research project and, in return for providing vouchers, BPEX will require information from producers on pre- and post-vaccination performance. Summary details of the previous month's breeding and feeding herd key performance indicators will have to be supplied with the application for each voucher. The pre-vaccination performance details will be collected by questionnaire at a later date.

Close Vet Links and Costs are Covered

This BPEX project will work closely with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) BBSRC-funded project on wasting diseases of pigs. The BPEX project will require collection of blood samples at either the first quarterly veterinary visit after registration on the project or by arrangement with veterinarians from the RVC if the quarterly visit has just taken place.

The blood samples will be analysed free of charge for evidence of exposure to a range of health challenges and results will be returned rapidly to producers. Please see the RVC note for veterinary surgeons - blood testing equipment, vacutainers etc can be obtained from the RVC. Following discussions with the appropriate authorities it has been confirmed that no additional licences are required for this blood testing as it is regarded as being for routine diagnostic purposes.

The BPEX PCV2 research scheme will provide vouchers for PCV2 vaccines and is open to all pig levy-payers in England. Farms that produce only weaner pigs will be eligible to make joint applications with a unit to which they supply pigs for finishing. The project is open to producers already using a Circovirus vaccine as well as to new users. Vouchers will be supplied monthly and will ONLY be valid for one month. The first voucher will be valid until the end of May for vaccine purchased in April 2008.

The value of the voucher will be £2.20 per dose of sow vaccine and 40p per dose of piglet vaccine. Vouchers will be sent to producers following approval of their application. Vouchers must then be returned with veterinary receipt for that month's PCV2 vaccine. The receipt must clearly state the veterinary surgeon, veterinary practice, month, vaccine used, number of doses supplied and the unit involved.

Swift Sign-up

The allocated £1.5M fund should allow nine months worth of support, although this will depend on the number of participants taking part. BPEX is urging interested producers to sign up to the scheme as soon as possible to claims their vouchers, benefit form the vaccine programme and be part of the ground-breaking initiative. BPEX Knowledge Transfer Managers can provide more details on how to qualify and apply.

Application forms for the project are being posted to all assured farms. Further copies can be downloaded from the BPEX website: www.bpex.org.uk. Applications can also be made online if preferred. Further information and updates, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions, will also be available on the BPEX website.

EWA Bespoke Communications will manage the logistics of the voucher scheme on behalf of BPEX and EWA will be processing all of the application forms.

For further information contact Project leader Mark Wilson: [email protected]; Tel.01908 844256 Derek Armstrong: [email protected]; Tel.01908 844216 Andrew Knowles: [email protected]; Tel.01908 844708
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