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APHA publishes update on African swine fever in Asia

23rd Sep 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has published an update on the spread of ASF in Asia. 

You can view the update here

The briefing notes that confirmation of ASF in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines (and South Korea since it was published) shows the potential for further spread into the domestic pig and wild suid populations in south-eastern Asia.

It says: "The epidemiological situation of ASF across South East Asia remains of concern; new outbreaks continue despite the control campaigns implemented, which are possibly a reflection of illegal movements of both animals and pork products." 

The overall risk to the UK, given the current distribution of ASF in Belgium, Eastern Europe and neighbouring countries, is still medium.

"There are ongoing concerns around pork products from non-EU countries entering the EU in passenger luggage and then being discarded in areas where wild boar or domestic pigs are present. With regular direct flights to the EU and UK from China and eastern Asia, there is a risk of entry of ASFV in products of animal origin (POAO) from Asia.

Despite the spread in Asia the current risk of ASF introduction to the UK is still considered to be medium, although the situation is being kept under review.

Advice to pig keepers 

The document offers advice to pig keepers on protecting their animals. 

It says: "We would like to highlight to all pig keepers and the public to ensure pigs are not fed catering waste, kitchen scraps or pork products, thereby observing the swill feeding ban.

"All pig keepers should be aware that visitors to their premises should not have had recent contact with pigs and pig premises in the affected regions. Anybody returning from any ASF-affected area should avoid contact with domestic pigs, whether commercial holdings or smallholdings, areas with feral pigs or wild boar, until they are confident they have no contaminated clothing, footwear or equipment.

"Pig keepers and veterinarians should remind themselves of the clinical signs for ASF. Any suspect cases must be reported promptly. Please click here for more information.

"We would like to remind the public that any feeding of meat products, including the feeding of swill, kitchen scraps and catering waste, to wild boar or feral pigs is also illegal." 

A poster reminding pig keepers of this is available here