The British National Pig Association (NPA) has warned all its members for the consequences of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) following the news of the virus having been reported in mid-Ukraine.
The UK organisation points to a report by the British veterinarian consultant Dr John Carr, who stated to have witnessed the effects of the highly-virulent strain of PEDv during farm visits in Ukraine earlier this year. Just before Christmas, strains were sequenced and confirmed to be the Asian-Amercian strain, Carr told Pig Progress.
In an overview, Carr cited a well-run commercial 5,000-sow unit in Ukraine where 30,000 piglets died over a matter of weeks, equivalent to the loss of six weaned pigs per sow per year. He warns that with such high mortality, it is essential to be concerned for the mental health of all stockpeople when a unit breaks down with Asian-American PEDv.
The NPA shares Carr's worry that the highly-infectious disease could easily spread to the European Union. He stresses it is essential that no live pigs are imported into the United Kingdom from countries with PEDv and he warns that all pig producers should introduce impeccable transport biosecurity routines.
According to the NPA a thimbleful of manure from an infected pig unit is sufficient to infect the entire British pig population.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has confirmed the disease has no zoonotic capacity and is therefore harmless to humans. But in the United States it has wiped out over a tenth of the pig population in the past two years, causing up to 100% mortality in piglets on infected pig farms. However the Canadian pig industry has demonstrated it is possible to control the spread of PEDv if the disease is identified quickly and no movements on or off the infected unit are allowed by the farmer concerned.
Ukraine borders the European Union countries Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
Read also: USDA speaks of PEDv outbreaks in Ukraine (Dec 16, 2014)
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