Standard Operating Procedures, as published in the United Kingdom, are guideline documents that can help producers to avoid problems related to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv).
This second column builds on the first episode I wrote on PEDv. In that column, I discussed how the outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) in the United States and Canada remind me of when Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE) broke out in the UK and US.
The Canadians in particular (when compared to the Americans, sadly) seem to have gotten on top of the scourge with commendable speed as Figure 1 shows. And they feel that their PEDv Advisory Board and its Rapid Response Team has been a major reason for the Canada’s success.
UK’s operating procedures to fight PED
At present in the UK we are free of PED, but our AHDB Pork (formerly BPEX) is already publishing on-line some 14 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), published in May 2015. Some of these guideline documents are several pages long and constitute the most comprehensive biosecurity and sanitation procedures ever published (not the same things – biosecurity is keeping disease from entering a farm, while sanitation is keeping it under control inside the farm).
4 main areas of control
Most of the Standard Operating Procedures are very comprehensive and clear about what to do in the 4 main areas of control:
protecting against the disease;
eliminating it quickly;
preventing the virus from leaving an infected farm; and
lessening the chance of re-infection, which with this especially virulent virus is always possible, especially in warmer summer weather.
AHDB Pork 14 Standard Operating Procedures:
PEDv background for producers and for hauliers.
On-farm testing, surveillance and monitoring.
General industry biosecurity standards.
Farm gate security – people. Including the ‘Danish entry’ system where showering in/out is not available, such as on small farms. Less sophisticated smaller units, the Americans tell me, have been a potential threat to the rapid spread of the virus locally.
Farm gate security – all vehicles.
Farm gate security. ‘Lines of separation’ and loading pigs – reminders and new guidelines of demarcation never to be crossed.
Cleaning and disinfection of vehicles used to transport pigs, including those animals infected.*
Containment, control and elimination of infection. (a) for indoor herds (b) for outdoor herds. At the time of writing not yet published and under review.
‘Controlled exposure’ of herds to the virus – which is preferable to ‘natural exposure’ often practised by farmers themselves for previous diseases under the generic name of ‘feedback’ or ‘feedbacking’. Being written, but possibly the procedural advice will be restricted to veterinarians, as local conditions could influence the advice given. This is not, as it may seem to some, a restricted practice especially benefitting the veterinary profession, but sound common sense based on experience and backed by experience from controlled animal movements from infected sites.
Intensive cleaning and disinfection of a unit following breakdown.
Dealing with fallen stock.
Guidance for a return to ‘PEDv-free’ status.
* Pigs infected with PEDv are thought not influence the human food chain and can be moved to abattoirs.
In the next column I will present several personal comments to solutions applied to alleviate the effects of PEDv.