Pig industry backs regulation proposals on disease

The pig industry has given its support to proposals for new regulation on the handling of exotic diseases in pigs.

Defra published a summary of responses to its GB-wide consultation this week, on proposals to consolidate legislation for the control of disease during an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), classical swine fever (CSF) and swine vesicular disease (SVD) into one statutory instrument, replacing the 11 existing instruments. The legislation would implement EU law, which requires member states to “take strict control measures to eradicate disease quickly and effectively if an outbreak occurs in its territory”. The proposed changes aim to reduce the total costs and burdens of the disease outbreak to businesses and taxpayers.

Responses were received by eight parties, including Bpex, the British Meat Processors Association, Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), and the National Pig Association, in which 100% either agreed (87.5%) or strongly agreed (12.5%) that there would be a benefit to consolidating the legislation.

However, opinions were more divided on whether, if the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) removed the requirement to be notified if a case of SVD occurred, Great Britain should remove SVD from these proposed regulations and continue to rely on the existing domestic legislation. Fifty per cent said no, 37.5% said yes and 12.5% were undecided.

The issue of other disease threats, such as porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) was also raised in the responses, and it was emphasised that Defra needed to look ahead and consider what controls might be necessary for other swine diseases.

It is anticipated that the new regulations will come into force in August 2014, subject to ministerial approval.

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