Pig classes cancelled at Great Yorkshire amid disease concerns

Pig classes have been cancelled at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show, following a suspected case of disease at a recent show.

In a statement, the show organisers said: “We have taken the decision to cancel all pig classes at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.

“This is not a decision taken lightly and has been taken as a matter of precaution due to one unconfirmed report of a pig showing signs of illness at a recent show.

“The pig was examined by a vet at the show and a sample has been sent off for laboratory analysis. The results of the test will not be known until Tuesday this week, at the earliest.

“Animal welfare is of paramount importance to us and Great Yorkshire Show organisers have taken this step as a precautionary measure to eliminate any potential risk.”

The British Pig Association said it fully supported ‘this difficult decision taken in the best interests of all pig keepers’.

AHDB Head of Animal Science Mandy Nevel said: “Based on the circumstances, this is a responsible precautionary step and we are in agreement with the decision made.

“I would also like to remind all pig keepers, especially those attending shows, of the Significant Diseases Charter, and encourage them to sign up to help protect all our pigs. The Charter plays an important role in sharing information quickly in the event of an outbreak of a disease including Swine Dysentery or Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PEDv) which are a priority at the moment.

“The faster we can take action in the event of a disease outbreak, the faster we can stop it spreading.”

Pig keepers can sign up to the Significant Diseases Charter through the Producer or Corporate section of their Pig Hub account at www.pighub.org.uk

The NPA also said it supported the decision, stressing the importance of biosecurity in all aspects of pig production and pig keeping.

The Great Yorkshire is one of the highlights of the pig showing calendar, with 400 pigs shown last year.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.