The United Kingdom’s chief veterinary officer (CVO) Dr Christine Middlemiss has ruled out foot-and-mouth disease on a Norfolk farm following testing.

Dr Middlemiss had confirmed on Friday that she and her team were investigating a suspected case of foot-and-mouth disease in pigs at a premises near Feltwell, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk.

Movement restrictions and a 10km temporary control zone for foot-and-mouth disease were put in place on the farm but have since been lifted.

Foot-and-mouth disease was ruled out following official testing at the UK national reference laboratory.

Vesicular disease

However, the UK CVO has confirmed that a suspicion of vesicular disease in pigs remains on the farm and a new temporary control zone for swine vesicular disease has been declared.

The clinical signs of swine vesicular disease can be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has said it’s essential that farmers report any suspicion of swine vesicular disease in their pigs.

The main sign of the disease in pigs is blisters (vesicles). These can appear at the top of the hooves, between the toes and occasionally on the snout, tongue and lips, says DEFRA.

Other clinical signs include lameness due to foot blisters, loss of appetite or fever.

Swine vesicular disease is spread through contact with infected pigs or their faeces or body fluids, pigs eating infectious meat or meat products or contact with anything contaminated with the virus including people and their clothing, vehicles and equipment.