Swine Dysentery Control: Communication and Eradication

13 December 2011, at 11:42pm

ANALYSIS - Pig farmers in the UK, particularly in Yorkshire, are being encouraged to raise their level of biosecurity, to join a producer group and to to be on the alert for signs of swine dysentery following several confirmed outbreaks recently. Jackie Linden, senior editor of ThePigSite reports on what stockmen and farmers should be looking out for and what to do.

In an online seminar, ‘Defend against disease: don't break the chain’, organised by BPEX this week, pig vets from Garth Partnership in Yorkshire reviewed the current risk of swine dysentery, opening a discussion on how each part of the supply chain can strengthen its defence against this damaging disease. Helen Clarke of BPEX then described how the 'lorry wash' initiative can contribute.

The event was set up following an increase in outbreaks of swine dysentery in North Yorkshire over recent months because producers need to be aware of the situation, which has significant impacts for the whole industry. More than 40 producers participated in the evening seminar.


Swine dysentery is a bacterial disease of pigs, particularly in the growing-finishing phases. Pigs show signs of blood and/or mucus in the faeces. The disease can be spread easily by pigs entering the farm, as well as on vehicles, people and wild animals.

A high level of biosecurity is the best way to keep the infection off the farm as medication risks the development of antimicrobial resistance.

Good communication throughout the supply chain is vital – between producers and their neighbours, veterinarians, abattoirs and suppliers.

Once the disease strikes, eradication is the best policy and can be achieved.

Further Reading

- You can view our report on the seminar by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on swine dysentery by clicking here.