A case of disease discovered on a pig farm in England is not foot and mouth disease, the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.
The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer confirmed late yesterday (Friday, June 24) that the suspicion of foot and mouth has been negated, following testing at the UK national reference laboratory.
A temporary control zone that had been set up following the discovery of the disease case (with a radius of 10km from the diseases site) has now been removed.
The control zone for foot and mouth disease was revoked at 7:00p.m yesterday evening.
The control zone had covered parts of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the east of the country.
According to Defra, the affected premises is located near Feltwell, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk.
Judging by the location of the control zone, it appears that the disease case was discovered just to the west of the town of Brandon.
Official tests were carried out yesterday to determine the true nature of the disease. Following that testing, foot and mouth disease was ruled out.
The control zone originally came into effect from 10:000p.m Thursday night.
Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) had notified veterinary practitioners in the area that there is a suspicion of a case.
Authorities now suspect that the disease in question is swine vesicular disease.
This disease does not effect other animals, and even among pigs, the illness is short-lived and death rates among all age groups of pigs is fairly low.
However, as the signs of the disease are quite similar to foot and mouth, there is a concern that pig farmers who have pigs showing symptoms of foot and mouth may assume it is swine vesicular disease and, therefore, not take the appropriate action against.
Indeed, the World Organisation for Animal Health recommends that any case of swine vesicular disease should be assumed to be foot and mouth unless proven otherwise by laboratory testing.
Therefore swine vesicular disease is a notifiable disease in the UK and animal health authorities must be notified if an animal is showing symptoms. Failure to do so is an offence.
Defra has established another temporary control zone (with a radius of 10km from the disease site) relating to swine vesicular disease. It covers the same area as the previous control zone for foot and mouth disease.