British pig producers are being urged to be extra vigilant for symptoms of swine dysentery and step up defenses after further cases of the disease have been reported across the UK’s North Yorkshire region.

“The disease spreads rapidly, particularly in the current cold weather conditions,” said British Pig Executive veterinary projects manager Helen Clarke. She said swine dysentery is a highly economically damaging infection and it is imperative that producers report suspected symptoms as soon as possible. “Swine dysentery causes a rapid loss of condition in affected pigs and, eventually, loss of stock," said Clarke. "Clinical signs affecting growing and finishing pigs include bloody diarrhea.”


All producers are urged to tighten up on biosecurity measures. “The bacterium Brachyspira hyodysenteriae live in the large intestine and are passed out in dung," said Clarke. "This is why it is so easily spread on boots, vehicles and implements, as well as by rodents and birds, and why hygiene is so important.”