PED move is a “significant step change” says Meryl Ward

AHDB Pork chair, Meryl Ward, has welcomed the introduction of notifiable status for PED, due to start on Friday this week, as a “significant step change” in partnership working between the industry, Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, to build England’s resilience to disease.

“PED is a potentially serious disease and an emerging threat to our English pig industry,” she said, adding that a “unique industry-led collaboration” with Government had resulted in the development of the PEDv Contingency plan to “identify, contain and eliminate”.

Stating that the regulatory change to notifiable status is a “critical part” of the plan, she said the move (to notifiable status) will assist in the early identification of affected premises, allow more time to take effective actions to minimise the impact on the industry and increase the opportunity to eliminate the disease.

“Working together to share resource, knowledge and build vital expertise,” she added, “the partnership has also developed a series of standard operating procedures, bio-security guidance as well as raising awareness across industry of the potential threat.”

Nevertheless, emphasised AHDB Pork, PED remains a significant threat to British pig-keepers.

“Outbreaks of high-impact strains caused up to 100% mortality in young pigs in the United States, knocking out around 10% of pig production in 2013-2014,” it said, adding that the disease has since spread to Ukraine.

“Even with milder European Union strains, piglet mortality as high as 70% has been reported.”

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