The U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a month-long dialogue to determine whether porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus should become a notifiable disease.

According to the National Pig Association (NPA), if the effort to make PED virus a notifiable disease is successful, it would fall under a new category of disease, which the NPA refers to as “lightweight notifiable” because there will be no statutory movement controls, no compulsory slaughter and no blocks on exports.

If U.K. officials make PED virus a lightweight notifiable disease, a pig producer and the producer’s veterinarian would be legally obligated to inform the U.K. Animal and Plant Health Agency in the event of a suspected case. If the tests prove positive for PED virus, the agency will inform Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Pork in confidence, so a package of support measures can be put in place for the affected farm, as well as its neighbors and at-risk contacts.

Thoughts on the matter can be shared on the DEFRA dialogue page. Comments can be shared throughout August.

 A contingency plan for the U.K. pig industry was completed in February in preparation for a possible outbreak of the virus. However, the plan is a living document that was to change as the PED virus situation changed.