East Anglian pig producers have already set up a steering group. An initial meeting has been held to discuss strategy, so the initiative can get off to a flying start. The group is chaired by producer Philip Richardson.
BPEX Veterinary Projects Manager Charlotte Evans said: “Producers at the first meeting firmly agreed to focus plans on achieving real improvements in biosecurity.
“A veterinary sub-committee has been formed to advise on biosecurity and health status monitoring. The plan is to review existing biosecurity protocols and develop a new, simpler protocol of 10 to 15 key points.”
A second sub-group has also been formed – its first task is to evaluate Yorkshire and Humberside Health, the pig health improvement project already underway in the north.
Charlotte adds: “The commitment to pig disease control in the East is already clear from the innovative Swine Dysentery Producer Charter set up in 2008, with the region seeing the number of new cases of swine dysentery fall in 2009.”
The Eastern Health project, supported by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and BPEX, will cover the entire East of England region comprising Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.