Bpex asks pig producers for vigilance against swine dysentery

Bpex has reminded producers that since the risk of swine dysentery at this time of year is high, they need to be extra vigilant.

The warning comes after cases have already been found in Yorkshire. Helen Clarke, veterinary projects manager from Bpex, said: “The disease can spread rapidly both within and between units, particularly in the current cold, wet conditions.

“With such an economically damaging infection, it is imperative any suspected symptoms are acted upon as soon as possible. Swine dysentery can vary in severity, ranging from mild diarrhoea to severe loss of growth, high mortality and bloody, mucoid diarrhoea.

“It is important to remain vigilant against any changes in faecal consistency or condition of pigs as the severity of infection can develop.”

Clarke recommended that producers take regular faecal samples and have them tested for dysentery, She also said producers should tighten up on biosecurity measures: “The bacteria brachyspira hyodysenteriae live in the large intestine and are passed out in dung. This is why it is so easily spread on boots, vehicles and equipment, as well as by rodents and birds, and why hygiene is so important.”

Since the disease can live in manure and slurry for up to 60 days in cold weather, Bpex said a number of measures should be taken, including regularly disinfecting vehicles, equipment and people, tight vermin control, herd security and medication.

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