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Pig Health Scheme Heads for Target

by 5m Editor
14 July 2010, at 12:11am

UK - The Eastern Pig Health scheme is on target to get 80 per cent of the region's sow herd signed up by 6 August 2010.

Pig producers need to meet this target to secure funding for Stage Two of the project and they have already committed to register more than 50 per cent of the sows. The most recent information from Defra shows a total of 100,571 sows in the Eastern region.

Vets are providing strong support and have run a number of meetings with more planned. Registration for EPH is a simple on-line process and gives pig producers free access to the health and biosecurity benefits the scheme will bring. Producers should go to click here to sign up.

BPEX Health Co-ordinator, Ross Lake, said: "The response so far from producers in the East has been excellent. We anticipate the same enthusiasm and co-operation as was shown for the highly successful Swine Dysentery Charter in 2008, for which 80 per cent of the region's sows were quickly signed up. The number of new swine dysentery cases in fell significantly in 2009 and the EPH scheme aims to go much further.

"As well as swine dysentery, producers are now focusing on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus and enzootic pneumonia (EP) and will be collaborating with vets and the ancillary trades on new ways to improve biosecurity."

A meeting for the ancillary trade organisations on 6 July saw many of them offering their support to EPH. Suggestions for practical initiatives were made and work is underway to implement them.

All producers signing up to EPH will benefit from access to an online map of pig units and herd health status information, free diagnostic testing, improved biosecurity, online management tools and disease alerts.

Eastern Pig Health is funded by the East of England Development Agency and BPEX.