September 22, 2020


30 UK pig farms needed for EU-backed project focusing on cost-effectiveness of biosecurity


The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is seeking for 30 UK pig farms to join the EU-funded BIOPIGEE project that explores the cost-effectiveness of biosecurity.

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

APHA's recruitment letter states that UK farmers' contribution to the study will be "invaluable" to the whole of the United Kingdom's pig industry. The agency added 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 said.

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," Dr. Smith added. "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."

- FarmingUK