DISEASE ALERT – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

See below for information on African Swine Fever, issued by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

Current situation
It is extremely concerning that African swine fever (ASF), a virus that affects pigs and wild boar, has been identified in Belgium.

Focus must be on ensuring ASF does not spread further. We urge all pig producers to ensure their biosecurity is tight, particularly vehicles, animals and people coming onto their units.

We need all pig producers, farmers and the public to pull together to keep this disease out.

What is African swine fever?
African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious disease of pigs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs. It does not affect humans.

The main clinical signs are:

fever
loss of appetite
lack of energy
sudden death with few signs beforehand

Other signs can include:

vomiting
diarrhoea
red or dark skin, particularly on the ears and snout
discharges from the eyes and nose
laboured breathing and coughing
abortions
weakness
unsteady gait

All age groups are equally susceptible. Mortality rates may be as high as 100%.

African swine fever is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect it, you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.

How is African swine fever spread?
The disease is highly contagious. It can spread by:

Pigs eating contaminated meat or meat products
Contact with infected pigs or their faeces or body fluids
Contact with anything contaminated with the virus including:
people and their clothing
vehicles and other equipment

Getting the message out not to discard any human food where pigs or wild boar could get access is key.

We have wild boar and feral pigs throughout the UK and we know they are frequently seen on arable or horticultural farms. Please encourage all farm workers not to discard human food waste into fields or areas where pigs or wild boar could get access.

What can you do today?
Make sure you and your staff are aware of, and adhere to, your farm biosecurity protocol. For guidance on biosecurity visit AHDB Pork’s website.

Ensuring good biosecurity throughout the entire supply chain is the first line of defence against exotic and emerging diseases, including ASF and PEDv.

Ensure all staff have your veterinary surgeon’s telephone number to hand, as well as the Defra Rural Services Helpline: 03000 200 301 should you suspect a case of ASF.

Contingency planning
It is important to have a contingency plan in place in case movements become restricted.

Practical guidance and additional resources on the actions to be taken in the event of interruption to pig movements off farm can be found here.

Resources/Websites

Defra guidance
European Food Safety Authority guidance
The Pirbright Institute
AHDB ASF hub
AHDB Pork biosecurity hub
NPA

Remember, ASF is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect it you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.

AHDB Pork, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL, T 02476692051, E comms@ahdb.org.uk, W pork.ahdb.org.uk

© Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 2018. All rights reserved.
While the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board seeks to ensure that the information contained within this document is accurate at the time of broadcast, no warranty is given in respect thereof and, to the maximum extent permitted by law the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused (including that caused by negligence) or suffered directly or indirectly in relation to information and opinions contained in or omitted from this document.

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