A contingency plan for the pig industry, to be activated should porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus arrive in the U.K., has now been completed. However, the plan 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 British Pig Executive (BPEX) veterinary team manager Martin Smith.
A database is being created so if the disease does hit the U.K., 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.
“This will be vital in gathering the information we need for the epidemiology of PEDv and how it behaves under different conditions,” said Smith. “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.
“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,” said Smith.
“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.”
The diagnostic testing, funded by BPEX, is already in place and this is being extended to any diarrhea sample so they will be routinely checked for PED virus.
“In the early stages it can be difficult to diagnose PEDv as it is similar to a number of other diseases,” Smith said.
“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.”