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New Disease Threat?

by 5m Editor
14 September 2009, at 11:51am

EU - There were reports of a new unexplained syndrome of diarrhoea in young piglets from Denmark and France at the first European Symposium on Porcine Health Management in Copenhagen at the end of August.

Mortality rates of up to 40 per cent in suckling piglets will strike terror in the hearts of pig farmers who have previously been through the devastation that followed the similar first reports of what we now know as PRRS and PMWS.

The cause of the syndrome is unknown and farmers and vets have been struggling to contain the disease with no effective treatment, vaccination or control measures at this stage. In Brittany 15 to 20 per cent of herds have already experienced the condition, and the disease has mainly affected the high performing well-managed herds. Hyperprolificacy, overuse of antibiotics, chilling in the creep area, nutritional factors and various microorganisms have all been suggested as possible factors.

The British pig industry can do without this disease syndrome sweeping through the national pig herd. Imports of pigs and pig products probably represent the greatest threat of introduction. Until the syndrome is better understood and effective control measures developed, national and individual herd biosecurity levels will need to be at their most robust to defend the industry from this threat.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.
- You can visit our PMWS page by clicking here.