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Swine vesicular disease (SVD) is a contagious disease of pigs.
It is thought to have evolved from human virus in the 1960s, producing a virus that affects only pigs and causes disease signs that can be identical to foot and mouth disease. SVD, though a much less severe, is often impossible to distinguish clinically.
It doesn't affect humans.
Latest situation: Scotland is free from swine vesicular disease.
The disease is characterised by vesicles on the legs and around the mouth of affected pigs, hence the possible confusion with foot and mouth disease.
The pigs may be lame while the vesicles appear and subsequently rupture. Less commonly, they may also be feverish and reluctant to eat. The clinical signs vary with the strain of the virus (there is one serotype containing several distinct strains): the disease can be severe, mild or subclincal (shows no clinical signs but is infected and will still be infectious to others).
Younger animals tend to show more severe clinical signs than older pigs, and animals housed on wet concrete are usually worse affected than those on straw or grass (abrasion from hard floors bursts the vesicles and promotes secondary infection).
Severe disease is unusual, outbreaks more often feature disease with mild clinical signs. Generally, the illness is short-lived and most pigs make a full recovery in two to three weeks. It is unusual for pigs to die of swine vesicular disease.
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.
How swine vesiucular disease is spread
SVD is spread by the movement of infected live pigs. Other routes for transmission include:
contaminated footwear, clothes or hands of people who have close contact with infected animals, e.g. when feeding or examining them
equipment that becomes contaminated through use on or near infected animals
any vehicle that enters or leaves premises especially those areas where susceptible animals are kept
contamination from the carcass of an infected animal
contamination from any place where an infected animal has been; from pastures, loading ramps, markets, roads, etc.
contamination from other animals such as dogs, cats, and foxes, which can carry infected material on their feet or coats, but do not become infected themselves
contamination through contact with infected animals from neighbouring farms where adequate separation distances are not in place
animals eating infected animal products
Human health implications
There are no human health implications, although there have been some isolated cases of accidental infection of laboratory personnel working with the virus.
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 SVD to and from your animals.
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.