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"African Swine Fever – What ALL Vets Need to Know"

Wednesday 17th June, 12:30pm BST

Presented by Susanna Williamson and John Carr

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About the webinar

ASF is an imminent threat to all pigs in the UK from single pet pigs, to commercial production. As well as the legal requirements for vets to report notifiable diseases, rapid identification of the first case will be key to control of the disease. A comprehensive run through of the features of African Swine Fever, with real examples of clinical cases in other countries. Aimed at small animal vets who may be called on to see a pet pig as well as those in mixed practices who see pigs more regularly

Learning Objectives

• Know that ASF (both swine fevers) is notifiable and the need to report, and who to, if suspected
• Basic virus characteristics especially its excellent survival in carcases and pork/wild boar products
• How we got to the current situations in Europe and Asia – including time lapse for Europe and role of feral/wild boar
• Following from both the above, the most likely introduction routes into UK (and it’s illegal to feed kitchen waste to pigs!)
• Will include how to access advice, links to posters for clients etc
• Describe the clinical signs and PM lesions, with clinical course of disease (may have a range of examples)
• Vet and pig keepers role in early detection
• Demonstrate that good biosecurity can keep the disease out (country/farm/pig)

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About the speakers

Susanna Williamson

Susanna Williamson leads Government-funded pig disease scanning surveillance in England and Wales and is the veterinary lead for the Pig Expert Group at the Animal and Plant Health Agency. She works with colleagues in APHA, practitioners and the pig industry to develop and deliver surveillance for pig endemic diseases and new and emerging threats. This includes pig disease investigations and threat characterisation, and assisting with training and development of expertise. Susanna was President of the Pig Veterinary Society (PVS) in 2016-17 and is a member of the PVS Executive Committee, the Pig Health and Welfare Council and its surveillance and antimicrobial use subgroups. From 2000 to 2014, Susanna was a Veterinary Investigation Officer at the Veterinary Investigation Centre at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk undertaking disease and surveillance investigations and diagnostic post-mortem examinations in livestock and wildlife. She qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the Royal Veterinary College, London and spent two years in mixed veterinary practice based in Oxford. After working with the Government Veterinary Services and as a locum in Zimbabwe she went to the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh and gained a PhD for work on the protozoal disease, tropical theileriosis, in cattle. The PhD was funded by the Overseas Development Administration (ODA, now Department for International Development) and was followed by work on ODA smallholder dairy farm projects in Kenya and Morocco on the diagnosis, epidemiology and control of tick-borne diseases of cattle. She returned to Scotland in 1999 and, after working as a locum Veterinary Investigation Officer at SAC Edinburgh, joined the VLA (now APHA) in Bury St Edmunds in 2000.


John started learning the ropes about pigs at the age of 11. He qualified as a veterinarian in 1982. After 5 years in general practice he returned to university to complete a Leverhulme residency in pigs and the PhD in urinary tract problems of pigs at Liverpool specializing in microbiology and pathology. He has a Diploma in Pig Medicine and is a Diplomate of the European College of Pig Health Management. His is recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a pig specialist. He has taught production medicine at several universities: UK; Liverpool and Royal Veterinary College, London, US; North Carolina and Iowa State and in Western Australia at Murdoch and now James Cook University. John runs a consultancy practice with clients in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. John specialises in maintaining the health of pigs through promoting excellence in stockmanship and production practices.

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