PED becomes notifiable

PED becomes notifiable

From 18th December, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) will become a notifiable disease in England, and pig-keepers and vets will be legally required to inform the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) of any suspicion of the disease.

PigletIf a test for PED proves positive, Government will inform AHDB Pork, so that tracing can be carried out and improved biosecurity measures put in place.

The aim will be to prevent spread of PED and to eliminate the disease from the pig unit. There will be no requirement to slaughter affected animals.

The new measure has been introduced following co-operation between Defra APHA, AHDB Pork, the NPA and other industry bodies. Though it is now classified as notifiable, there will be no statutory movement controls, no compulsory slaughter and no blocks on exports.

Under the new legislation in England, APHA will be legally permitted to inform AHDB Pork in confidence of suspect and confirmed cases. AHDB Pork will then provide biosecurity guidance to the pig unit concerned. It will also carry out tracing and alert at-risk contacts as necessary.

AHDB Pork chairman Meryl Ward said: “This initiative is a significant step change in partnership working between industry, Defra and the APHA to build England’s resilience to disease.

“PED is a potentially serious disease and emerging threat to our English pig industry. A unique industry led collaboration with Government led to the development of the PEDv Contingency plan to ‘identify, contain and eliminate’.

“The regulatory change to notifiable status is a critical part of the plan and will assist in early identification of affected premises, allowing more time to take effective actions to minimise the impact on the industry and therefore increasing the opportunity to eliminate the disease.”

According to AHDB Pork PED remains a significant threat to British pig-keepers. Outbreaks of high-impact strains caused up to 100 percent mortality in young pigs in the United States, knocking out around 10 percent of pig production in 2013-2014. The disease has since spread to Ukraine. Even with milder European Union strains, piglet mortality as high as 70 percent has been reported.

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