Guidance

Porcine epidemic diarrhoea: how to spot and report the disease

How pig keepers can spot porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) and what to do if you suspect it.

PED is a disease caused by the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV), leading to rapidly spreading diarrhoea and dehydration in pigs of any age.

It doesn’t affect other farmed or domestic animals, or humans.

How to spot PED

Pigs with PED may show the following signs:

  • diarrhoea spreads quickly in a group of pigs over a few days
  • 50% or more have diarrhoea
  • death of 30 to 100% of young suckling piglets if the virus is a severe strain
  • diarrhoea in older pigs is temporary and they recover
  • diarrhoea tends to be watery
  • reduced appetite
  • lethargy
  • vomiting

If you suspect PED

PED is a notifiable animal disease in England and Scotland. If you suspect it you must report it immediately. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence. This applies to owners of pet pigs, smallholdings and commercial pig farms.

When you notify us, you’ll be given advice on how to:

  • help control disease on affected premises
  • reduce the risk of spread of PEDV infection in other pigs

England

Contact the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. They will notify the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Pork (AHDB Pork).

Scotland

Contact Quality Meat Scotland via the Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre (SPDCC) on 01466 705 247.

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Wales

PED is not a notifiable disease in Wales. You should contact your vet who can get testing advice from the APHA Veterinary Investigation Centre in Carmarthen.

Testing samples

Whichever region you live in, you should talk to your vet about testing diarrhoea samples so that you can confirm if your pigs have PED.

Testing for PEDV is available at:

  • APHA for suspect cases in England and Wales
  • SAC Consulting Veterinary Services for suspect cases in Scotland.

Your vet will give you advice about controlling the disease.

How PEDV is spread

PEDV is highly infectious.

It’s spread by contact with infected pigs or anything with their faeces on it including:

  • people
  • vehicles
  • equipment
  • bedding
  • feed
  • manure

Preventing PED

You can help to prevent the disease by practising strict biosecurity.

PED legislation

The Specified Diseases (Notification) (Amendment) (England) Order 2015

The Specified Diseases (Notification) (Amendment) (Scotland) Order 2016

Published 18 December 2015
Last updated 23 March 2016 + show all updates
  1. Changes to the order of the information - no factual changes.
  2. Changes due to PED becoming a notifiable disease in Scotland
  3. First published.