PHWC Disease Surveillance Sub group

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The Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC) Exotic and Emerging Diseases subgroup has the strategic aim to prepare the UK pig sector for potential threats from new exotic and emerging diseases.

Roundtable on Syndromic Surveillance in Pigs 

On 15th September 2016 The Pig Health and Welfare Council Disease Surveillance Subgroup held a Roundtable on Syndromic Surveillance.

This was jointly funded by the Animal and Plant Health Agency and AHDB Pork. The primary objective of the Roundtable was to explore the concept of syndromic surveillance and how to obtain disease data from pig farms to assess disease trends and promptly detect possible new and emerging threats in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.

A good cross section of the pig Industry attended the meeting including producers, veterinary practitioners, Government representatives and Academics.

The morning kicked off with an introduction by Jim Scudamore, Chair of the Pig Health and Welfare Council.

Susanna Williamson, Veterinary Lead Pig Scanning Surveillance APHA then explained about Syndromic Surveillance – what is it, what do we have in place, what more do we want and what are the main challenges?

 She was followed by 3 different examples of current methodologies

  • Syndromic surveillance for pigs in the Netherlands by Theo Geudeuke, Deventer, Netherlands
  • Pilot BPEX-funded syndromic surveillance study by Carla Gomes, SRUC
  • Mining data from veterinary records by Phil Jones, SAVSNET, University of Liverpool

The morning ended with a presentation from Sara Robertson, Principal Data Analyst, Surveillance Intelligence Unit, APHA on the Provision of data: How is syndromic surveillance data best reported to users?

During the afternoon everyone worked in groups to consider the various aspects of Syndromic Surveillance including possible sources of data collection, how can provision of data be encouraged to ensure good coverage? , the data needed from pig premises and disease incidents, how should data be reported back and how should data be collated and analysed.

The work from the Roundtable is being collated into a discussion document for Industry.

The presentations from the Roundtable are available here: