Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (‘Blue ear’)
This viral infection causes laboured breathing, occasional fever, loss of appetite, abortion, an increase in still births and many piglets born to infected mothers are weak, splay-legged and die. The disease causes major problems throughout pig farming industries. The disease spreads within a unit by direct contact between pigs. Nasal secretions are the main source of infection, although contact with faeces in dirty units can also spread the virus. Early weaned piglets are vulnerable to the disease.