PMWS masked new swine-fever outbreak

By Peter Crichton

NEWS broke on 3 November of another CSF outbreak on a Norfolk farm.

This involved almost 5000 pigs and featured clinical infection at a high level, accounting for a significant number of on-farm deaths before MAFF was able to start slaughtering.

The farm in question was less than 3km from another infectious unit slaughtered out two months earlier.

It is reported that the presence of PMWS on the latest outbreak site may have masked the initial CSF problem.

Coupled with a longer than average incubation period, this lead to a delay before CSF was diagnosed.

As a result of the later outbreak a further four farms have been included in the slaughter programme, all within a 3km zone and classified as dangerous contacts.

The latest outbreak has put back the dates for lifting movement restrictions on a 10km zone around the infected premises and this could now run into the New Year.

Although the Government Welfare Scheme provides zoned producers with an outlet for their pigs, currently the only actual cash they can expect to receive from the Intervention Board is capped at 50.

As a result, producers set up a meeting with Baroness Hayman in Bury St Edmunds on Friday (10 October) to press for a Government backed “top-up” payment while the final details of any industry funded contribution towards the Welfare Scheme payments are being hammered out.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry

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