Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) is to be classed as a notifiable disease in Scotland from March 2, 2016, making it mandatory for pig keepers to report any suspected case of the infection to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
The move brings Scotland’s £95m pig industry into line with England’s PED notifiable status which was introduced in mid-December, 2015.
Scotland’s rural affairs secretary, Richard Lochhead (pictured above), said the change in legislation had been requested by industry and had received “unanimous support” in a recent consultation.
“PED does not affect humans but can be deadly for piglets, and we must do all we can to protect Scotland’s pig industry from any potential risk,” he said.
“The Scottish pig industry has been working, with Scottish Government support, to prevent an incursion of this disease, and to develop robust contingency plans for dealing with any suspected cases.”
QMS pig specialist Allan Ward added: “This is a great step forward for the Scottish pig industry which works extremely hard to ensure high levels of health are maintained in the Scottish herd.”
British Veterinary Association Scottish Branch President, Grace Webster, agreed, commenting: “This will support the Scottish agricultural industry in taking control of this very serious disease and could well be extended to novel diseases in other species. This is a fantastic example of government, vets and industry working together for the benefit of animal health and welfare and farming communities across Scotland.”