Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) will become a notifiable disease in England from Friday (December 18), according to the National Pig Association (NPA).
Pig-keepers and vets will be legally required to inform the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) of any suspicion of the disease, under what is described by NPA as a “lightweight” measure which doesn’t include statutory movement controls, compulsory slaughter or blocks on exports.
“This is similar to the consensual Canadian model for combatting the disease, which has proved effective,” said NPA, commenting on its own website.
“Under the new legislation, AHPA will be legally permitted to confidentially inform AHDB Pork of suspect and confirmed cases,” said NPA. “AHDB Pork will then use its best judgement to provide biosecurity guidance to the pig unit concerned. It will also carry out tracings and alert at-risk contacts as necessary.”
The aim will be to prevent spread of PED and to eliminate the disease from the pig unit. There will be no requirement to slaughter affected animals.
“The industry’s method of tackling the disease and ensuring it doesn’t spread will be to introduce a raft of biosecurity measures,” said NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies. “It worked in Canada and we are confident it will work here, as long as it is identified at the earliest possible stage.”
The Scottish Government is currently consulting on making PED similarly notifiable in Scotland.