UK: Warning as pig diseases spread
11:00 02 February 2014
Pig producers’ levy group BPEX is urging producers to review biosecurity to protect their herds against devastating diseases, including African Swine Fever (ASF) and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) virus, which have spread to new countries this week. ASF was confirmed in wild boar in Lithuania, while the virulent strain of PED virus in the US has crossed into Canada.
ASF is a particular risk to UK pig producers because it can be carried via affected pig meat products and there is a considerable number of pig farm workers who travel to and from eastern Europe. To alert staff to this risk, producers can order ‘Don’t bring it home’ posters, free from BPEX, by emailing email@example.com
Key points for good biosecurity include: the isolation of pigs on arrival to the unit, limiting access to vehicles and people, thorough cleaning and disinfection of livestock lorries and arranging an offsite collection point for deadstock collection vehicles. Producers should always ensure that pigs have no access to meat products or products which may have come into contact with meats.
For help, the Pig Health Improvement Project offers a biosecurity tool at www.pighealth.org.uk or producers can contact a regional health manager directly on: 07816 938542 (south) or 07805 791038 (north).
Specific advice on PEDv is online at www.pighealth.org.uk/phip/news/ped.aspx.eb and www.npa-uk.org.uk
There is information on what the UK would do if ASF arrived in the country, published by Defra, at http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/documents/asf-disease-control-strategy.pdf
An overview on ASF and how it spreads is available from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) at: www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Media_Center/docs/pdf/Disease_cards/ASF-EN.pdf
The OIE also provides alerts on disease outbreaks across the globe at www.oie.int/alerts-disease-information/