Bowel oedema, primarily occurring among piglets during the first weeks after weaning, causes serious losses with mortality rates of up to 10%.

A survey showed that one-third of herds tested positive to the causative agent, the strains of E coli which excrete lethal shiga toxins.

To raise awareness of this disease, which can be prevented with a one-shot vaccine, Hysolv Animal Health have launched a fun competition for pig farmers. The prizes are two Apple iPads and ten £25 M&S vouchers.

Entrants simply have to go to to play an online game and use their skill to navigate a piglet across a tightrope while zapping the toxins which, in real life, cause the disease. All successful entrants will then be entered into a prize draw. The competition is open until 30th June 2018.

“On the farm, these toxins are, of course, invisible, but they can be detected quickly by a free test arranged through the unit’s vet,” said Hysolv director Richard Brealey. “We’ve used this humorous approach to show that many farmers are walking a tightrope when infected with these strains of E coli bacteria producing the deadly toxins.

“UK farms have found that vaccination with Ecoporc Shiga is a highly cost-effective way of preventing this economically-damaging disease. It is particularly relevant in the light of the industry’s efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics,” he added.

Further details about bowel oedema and a cost calculator can be found at