A contingency plan for the pig industry, to be activated should PEDv arrive in the UK, has now been completed but it is a living document and will change as the situation changes.
This is just the first of many outcomes of the work under way which is being collated by BPEX veterinary team manager Martin Smith. 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. This ties in with a questionnaire which will be asking about the type of farming system and the outbreak of the disease.
Martin said: "This will be vital in gathering the information we need for the epidemiology of PEDv and how it behaves under different conditions. We also have some standard procedures which are in the pipeline and are due to be published in the next couple of months. They will probably be published as individual sheets because they too will change according to the conditions."
A disease charter, based on that created for swine dysentery, has been completed and this will all be online as part of the Pig Hub.
Martin said: "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. 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."
Any diarrhoea sample
The 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. Martin said: "In the early stages it can be difficult to diagnose PEDv as it is similar to a number of other diseases. We have achieved a lot in quite a short time but there is still much more to be done. All this work will be valuable in fighting all exotic and emerging disease, not just PEDv."
BPEX is the organisation for pig levy payers in England and is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
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