Thirty UK pig farms needed for biosecurity project

APHA is on the lookout for 30 farms from the UK for the new EU-funded study
APHA is on the lookout for 30 farms from the UK for the new EU-funded study

Thirty British pig farms are needed as part of an European-wide project looking at the cost-effectiveness of biosecurity.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is seeking to enrol UK farms into the EU-funded BIOPIGEE project to ensure it has appropriate representation of British herds.

The study focuses on practices for the control of Salmonella and Hepatitis E virus (HEV), but APHA is looking to make the outcomes relevant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRS) and African swine fever (ASF) too.

APHA's recruitment letter states that British farmers' contribution to the study will be 'invaluable' to the whole of the UK pig industry.

The agency adds that their contribution will also help in the design of practical guidance on the most cost-effective Salmonella and HEV controls.

"The findings of this study will be used to develop informative tools and workshops for farmers and veterinarians, and a report of the overall study findings.

"You will also receive an individual report detailing the laboratory findings on your farm," the letter says.

APHA's lead analytical epidemiologist, Dr Richard Smith said the project could prove to be 'very fruitful' if farmers participated.

"We are looking to collect data from at least 300 herds across Europe and that would provide a strong dataset to assess the cost-effectiveness of individual biosecurity practices to help advise where to concentrate their resources.

"It would be very difficult to get the funding to carry out this type of large study again and so I am trying to capitalise on this opportunity."