Calculator counts the cost of pig disease

UK pig producers can now calculate how much an endemic disease in pigs has cost them thanks to the work of BBSRC-funded researchers.

Scientists at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) studying post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) devised the PMWS calculator to allow farmers to see just how much the disease, present in 99% of pig farms, has cost them.

Earlier this year, research from the team showed the cost of PMWS to the British pig industry was running to millions of pounds every year.

“It’s great to see our research moving beyond the lab to develop a tool of real benefit to farmers whose herds are affected by PMWS,” Professor Dirk Werling from RVC, who led the project, said. “Knowing the financial costs of this disease can help farmers decide how best to improve the welfare and profitability of their herds.”

The work of Professor Werling and his colleagues at RVC was funded through the Combating Endemic Diseases of Farmed Animals for Sustainability initiative that was launched in 2007 with £11.5 million funding from BBSRC, the Scottish Government and Defra.

The calculator can be found at: www.bpex.org.uk/articles/303060

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