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PMWS possibility in South Island

7 March 2006

PMWS possibility in South Island

The New Zealand Pork Industry Board is investigating the cause of a series of pig health problems on a cluster of farms Central Canterbury.

The Board's Chief Executive, Angus Davidson, said that pig industry vets had a number of farms under surveillance where problems were occurring in the region and had been trying to identify the problem for more than a week.

"The investigation has now been escalated to include Professor Roger Morris, a renowned epidemiologist and Professor of Animal Health at Massey University, in an effort to identify the cause of the sickness on these farms," Angus Davidson said.

"We are now awaiting the results of a range of laboratory tests, in an effort to diagnose the problem, and whilst we are by no means sure of the outcome, we cannot rule out the possibility of PMWS," he said.

PMWS or Post-weaning Multi-systemic Wasting Syndrome is a viral disease that is highly contagious among young pigs up to 12 weeks of age.

"Whilst there are no food safety or human health issues, associated with the disease, it is now endemic in most pork producing countries throughout the world where it is an on-going problem for producers," Angus Davidson said.

ENDS

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