Scotland's pig industry is relatively small compared to the cattle and sheep sectors. Most commercial pig production is located in the north-east of Scotland, but there are also many backyard pig producers. EPIC's work focuses particularly on Classical Swine Fever, African Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea.

Characterising movements of pigs

In Scotland pig movements are recorded by ScotEID. Data from ScotEID and other sources have been used to characterise pig movement patterns. Analyses examined distances moved, connections between different types of farms, markets and slaughterhouses.

EPIC has worked in collaboration with industry partners including Quality Meat Scotland, the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board - Pork and the Animal and Plant Health Agency to identify and subsequently close important gaps in data recording systems. These analyses have provided a detailed picture of the structure and connections between farms within the Scottish pig industry. These data have also been used in EPIC to simulate the spread of diseases (e.g. Classical Swine Fever, African Swine Fever and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea) between farms.

Disease exercises

Disease exercises, held at UK or Scottish levels, are designed to test the response of government and other stakeholders to outbreaks of exotic notifiable diseases. EPIC scientists have 'played' in disease exercises on foot­ and mouth disease and classical swine fever, providing:

  • emergency analysis of movement and demography data;
  • rapid risk assessments on rural access and the role of wild boar and feral pigs in disease transmission;
  • analysis of sequence data in outbreak analyses;
  • assessment of surveillance strategies for disease detection.


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