A new “significant diseases” charter has been launched by BPEX with producers being urged to sign up voluntarily to share information quickly in the event of an outbreak, making disease control faster and more effective than is currently possible.
Launched in the face of challenges such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PEDv), the new charter is part of the industry contingency plan drawn up by the Pig Health and Welfare Council. It is, in effect, an extension of the swine dysentery (SD) producer charter which was launched in 2009, when producers, vets and the wider industry recognised the serious financial implications that would result from an uncontrolled outbreak of SD.
“The industry, at the time, committed to a charter agreeing to share information with other charter members should their farm become infected and to take precautions to minimise the spread of infection,” said BPEX, adding that the measure had been immensely successful, especially in East Anglia, where the number of cases of SD have dropped dramatically.
“Initially only PED will be added to the reporting list but, with a reporting framework in place, it could be used to include other emerging and exotic diseases.”
BPEX veterinary team manager Martin Smith (pictured above) added: “As with SD, the success of the new charter relies on the voluntary commitment from producers and their vets to raise the alarm should they experience a disease breakdown.
“The early detection and reporting of these potentially costly diseases would enable rapid response measures to be put in place to restrict their spread, for the benefit of the whole of the British pig industry.”
To make it work, producers will be encouraged to sign up online with previous members of the SD charter needing to sign up again as the “significant diseases” charter will replace the 2009 version.