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Another case of Swine Dysentery detected in Yorkshire

23rd Aug 2016 / By Alistair Driver

Farmers have been warned to be vigilant and maintain high biosecurity standards after another case of Swine Dysentery was detected on a farm in Yorkshire.

The case was identified by clinical signs and subsequently confirmed by laboratory tests on Monday, August 22.

No details are being given of the location of the affected farm, except to members of the Significant Disease Charter. 

It is the second case to be reported in Yorkshire in a few weeks. The disease was identified on a rearing unit in North Yorkshire on August 5. The previous two cases identified in the UK were also in Yorkshire, in April 2016 and November 2015.

AHDB Pork is advising producers to increase vigilance for the development of clinical signs of disease within their herd.

"It is important that a heightened level of biosecurity and monitoring for clinical signs are observed over the next few weeks," a spokesperson added.


  • Swine dysentery is a bacterial disease of pigs caused by Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. It results in diarrhoea and weight loss which severely limits productivity.
  • Pigs which survive infection require treatment, take longer to reach slaughter weight and the farm's productivity and competitiveness is compromised.
  • Infected pigs, their dung and anything contaminated with dung (vehicles, boots, slurry, equipment) can easily spread infection between farms.
  • The disease is a particular threat to farms selling pigs for breeding; if these become infected their international and UK trade is devastated.
  • Resistance to the limited range of treatments for swine dysentery is increasing. There have been cases where the swine dysentery organism is resistant to all available treatments and complete depopulation has been the only way to control disease on these farms and prevent spread.
  • An infected pig farm threatens others within an area due to potential local spread and also threatens farms in other regions due to spread on vehicles or by pig movements.


If you see unexplained diarrhoea and wasting, especially if the diarrhoea contains blood or mucus, contact your vet immediately who will advise you.

Diagnosis is achieved by submitting faeces or pigs for testing. Prompt diagnosis is important so that suitable control measures are quickly implemented which helps limit spread of the infection.

Swine dysentery tends to cause most obvious disease in growers, finishers and younger breeding stock, with low to moderate mortality.