Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

West Suffolk: Concerns over virulent pig disease

10:48 14 March 2014

Concern over pig disease

Concern over pig disease

Farmers have said they are deeply concerned about the possible spread of a virulent pig disease to the UK.

Specialists and industry experts have warned that should porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) reach these shores, it would cause unprecedented damage to pig populations.

Jonathan Green, owner of Piggy Green Ltd, based at Timworth Hall, Timworth, Bury St Edmunds, said the disease would spread quickly through the region’s outdoor pig units.

He added: “The thing about it is that if it came into this country, it would go from one end to the other in days. You would lose a huge amount of production, almost instantly, so it would be a very traumatic disease. The mortality rate is very high and there is no cure at the moment, so you have to let it go through your pigs and develop their own resistance. I am very, very concerned about it.”

Although PEDv is harmless to humans, there have been reports that up to 100 per cent of piglets on affected farms in the US after spreading from China.

Mr Green, who has 3,000 sows and their progeny on his farm, said: “It’s spreading in America and it seems that there’s no stopping it. It’s a very virulent disease and it will spread extremely quickly in this county, especially on our outdoor pig units.”

The National Pig Association (NPA) said they were on ‘red alert’ and said until more was known about the disease the industry was focusing on spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) - a specialist feed ingredient - as a possible cause.

NPA chairman Richard Longthorp said, “We are clear that we don’t want to be looking back in a few months, and wish we had been more cautious. We are all agreed in the pig sector that we should close off every avenue of risk and potential risk for the time being.”

Derek Armstrong, a veterinarian for pig levy representatives BPEX, said: “The evidence from the States is that it is so outstandingly infectious that just one infected pig is all it would take to start an epidemic in this country which could kill as much as ten percent of the national herd.”


Joe Snell (left) and Toby Halls

Two boys with “hearts of gold” will be handed a BBC Radio 1 teen hero award for their charity work in Sudbury on Sunday, following the death of their close friend when he was just 13.

Fundraisers at Sandman 2015. This year's event has been cancelled. Image: Kevin Bell

A fundraising event which had hoped to raise tens of thousands for an Essex hospice this weekend has been cancelled.

Corrie CCTV Screen

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the crash

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

Ron Harris outside the first home he shared with his wife, Nina, at Shingle Street before the Second World War. Photo supplied for Life on the Edge by the Harris family.

It’s a place with tragedy and mystery in its past – but as many stories of resilient determination to build a community amid its wild and isolated environment.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24