Pig body warns producers on new disease strain

Whole generations of newly-born pigs are being wiped out by deadly new strains of porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) in China and the US.

As a result, the National Pig Association (NPA) has asked everyone in British agriculture to help keep the new disease out of Europe. The NPA said a mild form of PED has been present in the UK for over 40 years, but the new strains are a threat to the pig meat industry and there is no effective treatment.

The NPA is pressing a series of precautionary measures onto the industry, asking producers to only allow overseas visitors on farms three days after they enter the country and saying “only unit clothing and footwear should be worn”.

It also urged: “If you yourself are returning from overseas, allow three days before considering yourself ‘pig-free’.”

Also, as a matter of principle, the NPA said no meat products should ever be allowed onto pig units. It said this is because of their potential to introduce serious diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever, African swine fever, or the new strains of PED.

Dramatic US and China losses

The new strain of PED is still spreading in the US and is causing losses of up to 100%. It has been noted that the outbreak in the US is 99.4% similar to an outbreak in China, which has killed more that 1m piglets since October 2010.


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