Emerging diseases remains a key focus for the British pig industry

The British pig industry is investigating almost 40 different threats to livestock.

In the Pig Health and Welfare Council’s (PHWC) biennial report, 38 threats and potential threats to British pigs were identified in 2013-14. These included African swine fever, Aujeszky’s disease, brachyspira hampsonii and swine deltacoronavirus.

Professor Jim Scudamore, PHWC chairman, said: “New and emerging diseases remain a major concern to the pig industry with porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv), African swine fever (ASF) and porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) of high importance.
“Much of the surveillance sub group’s work in the past year has been devoted to PEDv. Development of the PEDv contingency plan for England, the standard operating procedures and diagnostic tests has required close collaboration across the pig industry, with considerable assistance from Animal and Plant Health Agency and Government.”

The report marked the halfway point of the PHWC’s 20:20 Pig Health and Welfare Strategy, which identified surveillance, welfare, pig meat food safety and antimicrobial usage as key strategy areas.

In its milestones for 2015, the PHWC pledged to monitor levels of salmonella in slaughter pigs, support research for the detection and measurement of live Hep E virus and develop a sustainable methodology for syndromic surveillance of pig disease.

The pig industry was also praised for its collaborative approach to health and welfare. Meryl Ward, chairman of AHDB Pork, part of the PHWC, said: “It’s a proactive partnership between cross-industry organisations and it’s the way we work closely together that underpins success in achieving our 20:20 Pig Health and Welfare Strategy goals.”

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