- 31 Oct 2018
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) is caused by a virus and leads to severe gastrointestinal disease in pigs. PED can cause high mortality in piglets, and loss of growth rates and reproductive performance in older pigs, therefore significantly reducing herd productivity, health and welfare.
There is no risk to human health from PED.
PED is signified by a severe outbreak of rapidly spreading diarrhoea. Symptoms include:
- the diarrhoea is watery and whole litters of piglets rapidly dehydrate and die
- high mortality (up to 100%) in suckling (pre-weaned) piglets from all parities of sow
- reduced appetite, lethargy and vomiting, affecting all ages of pigs
- on outdoor units piglets could be found dead before diarrhoea is noticed
- on finisher-only sites, the diarrhoea occurs as an obvious sudden outbreak, also causing vomiting and reduced appetite, but few or no deaths
How porcine epidemic diarrhoea is spread
PED is highly infectious and is spread through contact with infected pigs or material. Widespread transmission can be prevented through the control of pig movements and high standards of biosecurity, particularly thorough cleansing and disinfection of premises, vehicles, people’s clothing and equipment.
Human health implications
There are no human health implications because the disease is not zoonotic.
An outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.
Biosecurity is about being aware of the ways disease can spread and taking every practical measure to minimise the risk of disease spreading. The advice details practical things you can do on your farm to help prevent the introduction and spread of porcine epidemic diarrhoea to and from your animals.
The Scottish Government, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and Quality Meat Scotland have produced a set of leaflets providing practical advice for pig keepers to prevent disease on their premises.
If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.