A PEDv contingency plan, to be activated should the virus arrive in the UK, has now been completed, according to BPEX veterinary team manager, Martin Smith.
Stressing that the plan remains “a living document” which will change as the situation demands, Mr Smith said it was the first of many outcomes of the work under way at BPEX in relation to PEDv.
“A database is being created so if the disease does hit the UK, information of all sorts can be captured and used to tackle it,” he said. “This ties in with a questionnaire which will be asking about the type of farming system and the outbreak of the disease.
“This will be vital in gathering the information we need for the epidemiology of PEDv and how it behaves under different conditions.”
Additional standard procedures are also in the pipeline and are due to be published in the next couple of months; probably published as individual sheets so that they too can change according to current conditions.
Mr Smith also said that a disease charter, based on that created for swine dysentery, has been completed and will be placed online as part of the Pig Hub.
“Producers will sign in and register as part of the Charter so information gathered can be used to combat the disease and notify producers of outbreaks occurring near them,” he said.
“Phase two will be to link it in with vets, feed companies and the allied industry so they are aware that one of the units in an area has a problem. We are hoping to have this completed by late Spring.”
Diagnostic testing, funded by BPEX, is already in place and this is being extended to any diarrhoea sample so they will be routinely checked for PEDv.
“In the early stages it can be difficult to diagnose PEDv as it is similar to a number of other diseases,” said Mr Smith, adding that a lot had been achieved in quite a short time but that there is still much more to be done.