Producers urged to review defences against disease

BPEX is urging pig producers to review biosecurity to protect their herds against devastating diseases, including African Swine Fever (ASF) and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv), which have both spread to new countries this week.

ASF has just been confirmed in wild boar within the EU, in Lithuania, while the virulent strain of PED virus in the US has now crossed the border to Canada.

ASF is a particular risk to UK pig producers because it can be carried via affected pig meat products and there’s a considerable number of pig farm workers who travel to and from Eastern Europe. To alert staff to this risk, producers can order ‘Don’t bring it home’ posters, free from BPEX, by emailing: pighealth@bpex.ahdb.org.uk

Key points for good biosecurity include:

  • the isolation of pigs on arrival to the unit;
  • limiting access to vehicles and people
  • thorough cleaning and disinfection of livestock lorries; and
  • arranging an offsite collection point for deadstock collection vehicles.

Of course, producers should always ensure that pigs have no access to meat products or products that may have come into contact with meats.

For help, the Pig Health Improvement Project offers a biosecurity tool at www.pighealth.org.uk or producers can contact a regional health manager directly on 07816 938542 (south) or 07805 791038 (north).

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