Pig industry disease charter launched

A new disease charter has been unveiled by pork levy body Bpex in an attempt to combat threats such as porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PEDv). 

It has been drawn up by the Pig Health and Welfare Council with the intention that producers sign up voluntarily and will share information quickly in the event of an outbreak, which will ultimately make the disease easier to control.

This is an extension of the Swine Dysentery (SD) Producers Charter, which was launched in 2009 and has proved highly successful in controlling the outbreak of the disease, particularly in East Anglia where the number of cases of SD have dropped significantly.

At the launch of the new charter, only PEDv will be included in the reporting, but in time it could be used to help control other diseases.

“As with SD, the success of the Charter relies totally on the voluntary commitment from producers and their vets to raise the alarm should they experience a disease breakdown,” said Bpex veterinary manager Martin Smith.

“The early detection and reporting of these potentially costly diseases would enable rapid response measures to be put in place to restrict their spread for the benefit of the whole of the British pig industry.”

Notifiable diseases, such as African swine fever, classical swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease, are not included in this Charter as all producers and vets are already legally required to report any suspected outbreak to the Animal & Plant Health Agency.

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