Yorkshire Show pig classes cancelled on health grounds

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) has cancelled all pig classes at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show (9-11 July).

The decision, which was taken over the weekend of 6-7 July, followed suspicions of Swine Dysentry case in a pig at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Laboratory sampling returned negative results early on Tuesday (9 July), the opening day of the Great Yorkshire Show.

In a statement, the YAS said the decision was not taken lightly, adding: “Animal welfare is paramount and any potential risk to our exhibitors’ animals has to be taken very seriously which is why we took the difficult decision to cancel pig classes at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.”

No indication has yet been given to what the suspected disease was. 

See also: Guide to biosecurity measures to keep pigs disease-free

All breed classes, handling competitions and the National Pig Association’s Pig of the Year competition are affected.

Berkshire Pig Breeders Club chairman Sharon Barnfield said the decision was “definitely the right thing to do given the circumstances”.

A British Pig Association spokeperson said: “This difficult decision taken by the Yorkshire Agriculture Society is fully supported by the British Pig Association and we have been working with the show societies and their vets.”

Significant diseases charter

AHDB Head of Animal Science Mandy Nevel has issued a reminder to all pig keepers, particularly those attending shows, of the significant diseases charter and to sign up to the charter. 

Dr Nevel added: “The Charter plays an important role in sharing information quickly in the event of an outbreak of a disease including Swine Dysentery or Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PEDv) which are a priority at the moment.