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AFRICAN SWINE FEVER - KEY INFORMATION AND UPDATES

ASF virus pic

African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in Asia and could claim a quarter of the world's pigs, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The virus also continues to be a problem in Europe, particularly in Romania and Bulgaria. In September 2018, it reached as far west as Belgium, although it appears to have been contained to wild boar. With airport checks around the world continuing to uncover the presence of the virus in illegally transported meat, the global pig sector is on high alert - nowhere more so than in the UK. 

Here we bring together the latest information and advice for UK producers about keeping the UK pig sector free of disease, along with updates from around the world about the spread of ASF. 

The NPA is urging everyone who keeps pigs and all those connected to the pig industry to be extra vigilant in keeping the disease out, but also to be prepared in case the worst does happen.

If you suspect you may have the disease please ring 03000 200 301 immediately – failure to do so is against the law.

Important Information

NPA ASF briefing - essential reading! Our latest briefing (updated in November 2019), covering the nature of the virus, the history of the disease, the current situation, the main risks to the UK sector and how we can reduce that risk can be viewed here 

Global picture - the OIE publishes regular updates on the global spread of ASF - click here - as does the UN's FAO - click here. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) also provides updates on the spread of ASF in Europe and South East Asia. The Pig World and NPA news sites also run regular updates. ALL the latest updates are listed below. 

Defra-APHA advice - information on the symptoms and biosecurity advice can be found here

Latest situation

Regular updates on the ASF situation in Asia and Europe and what is happening in the UK to keep the virus out.

ASF dead pigsDec 4, 2019New cases in Poland as ASF moves closer to Germany

Nov 25, 2019 China lifts Canadian pork export ban

Nov 19, 2019ASF discovered close to German border

Nov 13, 2019 - High EU pig prices in 2020 as Asia looks to fill ASF gap

Nov 12, 2019FAO highlights continuing spread of ASF in Asia

Nov 11, 2019Consumer inflation in China close to eight-year high

Nov 8, 2019ASF suspected in Indonesia, according to reports

Nov 8, 2019 China pig herd recovery 'will take five years'

Nov 7, 2019 NPA updates African swine fever information

Nov 7, 2019Third countries reassured on ASF risk of PAP products

Nov 1, 2019Ed talks African swine fever on the World Service

Oct 31, 2019 No country safe from African swine fever - OIE

Oct 31, 2019UK pork sector sets its sights on China 

Oct 30, 2019ASF kept out of the domestic pig herd in Belgium 

Oct 23, 2019 - Trotter export approval for six plants

See more archived stories at the bottom of this page.

Keeping ASF out

Tougher border controls - The NPA has been relentless in campaigning for tougher controls at our points of entry.

ASF port poster Asia

ASF sniffer dogs

 

Do not feed pigs catering waste, kitchen scraps or pork products! This is the most likely way the virus will get into our pigs and is illegal. Feeding meat products to feral pigs is also illegal. The NPA, along with other industry bodies and the Government has been promoting this message heavily. This includes warning the general public about the risks of feeding outdoor pigs and feral boar. The key messages in the campaign to highlight the dangers of swill feeding can be found on this link

waste food

 

#MuckFreeTrucks - the NPA, AHDB and other industry organistaions have launched a campaign to ensure vehicles transporting pigs are cleaned properly to minimise the risks of spreading ASF, swine dysentry and other diseases. You can read about the campaign here and about how to obtain campaign posters and stickers here

Muck Free Truck sticker

 

Feral boar - feral boar have played a major part in spreading the virus in eastern and central Europe. The outbreak in Belgium, the closest yet to the UK, has so far been entirely confined to wild boar. The UK's feral boar population, particularly in the Forest of Dean where there are large numbers, is a great concern to the NPA. We have called for more robust controls on the population and have worked with local organisations to raise public awareness about the dangers of feeding feral boar. You can view our feral boar briefing here  

wild boar 5

The symptoms and contingency planning 

The symptoms - it is vital that all pig keepers familiarise themselves with the symptoms of ASF. Defra-APHA have published some photos of clinical signs of disease of African swine fever on Flickr.

African swine fever symptoms

ASF symptom 1

ASF symptom 2

If you suspect a case - African swine fever is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect a notifiable animal disease you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

Contingency plan - if African swine fever is confirmed, it will be controlled in line with the contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases and the African swine fever disease control strategy for Great Britain.

NPA contingency plan - the NPA has published a contingency plan, giving advice on how to respond to notifiable disease outbreaks. You can view it here

More ASF links and resources

  • A Defra-APHA poster for pig keepers summarising actions they can take can be downloaded here 

  • AHDB has set up an African swine fever hub that includes advice on symptoms and biosecurity and a useful video. You can view it here.

  • It includes a link to a range of resources and posters that can be downloaded, printed out and displayed on farms. 

  • Video clips from Pirbright, APHA, NPA and BPA raising awareness of the risk posed by the African swine
    fever virus can be viewed here 

  • Click here to view an extraordinary video charting the spread of ASF across Europe over the past decade. It is well worth a view!

ASF poster 2

 

Archived articles

Oct 28, 2019 - ASF threatens Chinese retail crisis 

Oct 23, 2019 - Global pork production forecast to drop 10% in 2020

Oct 22, 2019APHA updates ASF poster

Oct 17, 2019China claims pig numbers will bottom out by end of the year

Oct 10, 2019 How Asia’s African swine fever crisis is transforming the global protein market

Sep 23, 2019 - latest APHA update on ASF in South East Asia

Sep 17, 2019African swine fever confirmed in South Korea

Sep 16, 2019Minister admits ASF outbreak likely within a year - NPA demands more urgency

Sep 13, 2019Irish farmers call for ASF import ban

Sep 11, 2019China to incentivise producers to restock after African swine fever

Sep 9, 2019 - Philippines confirms African swine fever

Sep 4, 2019Record pork prices in China to fuel further export demand

Aug 27, 2019Continued decline in China's pig herd

Aug 23, 2019 - New poster targeted at students

Aug 22, 2019 - Latest situation assessment from Defra - S.E Asia and Europe

Aug 19, 2019 - More ASF confirmed in Laos

Aug 16, 2019 - ASF in Serbia

Aug 16, 2019 - Myanmar confirms first case of ASF affecting their export market to China and Thailand

Aug 7, 2019ASF awareness campaign prominent at Heathrow

Aug 5, 2019 130,000 pigs culled as ASF wreaks havoc in Bulgaria

July 31, 2019NPA welcomes new Government ASF awareness campaign

July 26, 2019 African swine fever confirmed in Slovakia for first time

July 22, 2019 17,000 pigs culled on Bulgarian pig farm due to ASF

July 18, 2019NPA calls for more resource to help keep ASF out of the UK

July 16, 2019 ASF outbreak could cost industry £85m, Government predicts

July 11, 2019NPA stresses need to up ASF controls after traces of virus found in Northern Ireland

July 4, 2019Philippines bans German pork imports over ASF fears

July 4, 2019 NPA welcomes Defra plans to step up ASF border controls

June 21, 2019Scientists announce breakthrough in search for ASF vaccine

June 20, 2019OIE confirms further spread of ASF in Asia

June 11, 2019APHA highlights ASF risk posed by Asian pork imports

June 6, 2019 ASF confirmed on farm with 8,000 pigs in Poland

June 6, 2019 Canada ASF messages a lesson to our Government

June 3, 2019ASF confirmed in North Korea as spread across Asia continues

May 29, 2019 Pirbright enters into Belgian partnership to develop ASF antiviral drugs

May 21, 2019ASF spreading across Vietnam

May 17, 2019US to test pigs for ASF as surveillance is stepped up

May 15, 2019 Pork prices to soar on the back China ASF crisis - but there could a sting in the tail

May 13, 2019African swine fever confirmed at Hong Kong slaughterhouse

May 10, 2019How China’s ASF crisis could affect the global pork sector

May 10, 2019 Researchers move step closer to wild boar ASF virus

May 9, 2019 Lorry washing campaign launched to ensure #MuckFreeTrucks

May 7, 2019UK production to rise but China effect should boost prices

April 23, 2019NPA chair highlights waste food message as Jeremy Vine focuses on African swine fever

April 23, 2019 Panic in China as ASF takes its toll

Apr 18, 2019‘Not enough pork in the whole world’ to fill China’s supply gap (Pig World article)

Apr 17, 2019Global pork production to fall by 4% on the back of China ASF woes

Apr 12, 2019World Pork Expo cancelled due to ASF fears

Apr 9, 2019 - ASF insurance questionnaire 

Apr 4, 2019Cambodia confirms first case of African swine fever

Apr 3, 2019Why good biosecurity is essential now to minimise ASF threat

Apr 2, 2019 Could China provide a silver lining as Brexit uncertainty continues?

Mar 12, 2019Pig prices in China soaring as ASF hits production

Feb 22, 2019BBC discusses ASF and feral pigs in the Forest of Dean

Feb 21, 2019African swine fever confirmed in Vietnam

Feb 18, 2019 15,000 pigs culled as CSF hits Japan

Feb 15, 2019 Arrests made as part of Belgium ASF investigation

Feb 9, 2019ASF threat – what more can be done? (Pig World article)

Feb 9, 2019The many ways African swine fever could get into our pigs (Pig World article)

Feb 7, 2019African Swine Fever in China causes pork price drop (Pig World article)

Jan 25, 2019Growing concern that ASF could reach France

Jan 23, 2019NPA urges producers to warn public about the risk of feeding pigs

Jan 21, 2019 - See Zoe discuss ASF on Countryfile

Jan 18, 2019 Australian border checks pick up ASF virus in pork products

Jan 17, 2019France plans wild boar cull

Jan 9, 2019 - China's battle to contain ASF

Dec 6, 2018 - Defra updates African swine fever advice 

Dec 4, 2018Watch Zoe explain the impact of African swine fever

Nov 30, 2018 Eustice outlines Government ASF preparations

Nov 29, 2018African swine fever awareness videos posted on YouTube

Nov 28, 2018 Defra publishes updated notifiable disease contingency plan

Nov 21, 2018NPA spreads ASF message in Times article

Nov 16, 2018 Hauliers urged to take action to reduce risk of ASF reaching the UK

Nov 12, 2018 - ASF virus detected in pig feed in China

Nov 8, 2018 Belgian ASF outbreak prompts debate over wild boar numbers

Nov 8, 2018Review your unit's biosecurity in light of ASF threat (Pig World Veterinary View comment)

Oct 31, 2018 Belgian authorities planning wild boar cull

Oct 25, 2018 – NPA urges Government to keep biosecurity guard up after we leave the EU

Oct 22, 2018 - African swine fever detected in southern China for first time

Oct 19, 2018 - Belgium Government releases €1m for ASF cull

Oct 16, 2018 - ASF case study on Chinese farm (very useful article on Pigs 333 website)

Oct 15, 2018ASF confirmed on 20,000-pig farm in China

Oct 12, 2018France to build fence to keep African swine fever out

Oct 11, 2018 - Confirmed ASF cases in Belgium rises to 75

Oct 8, 2018 - Did soldiers bring African swine fever to Belgium?

Oct 4, 2018Health officials 'very worried' as African swine fever spreads in Europe and Asia (CNN article)

Oct 4, 2018 Can China contain African swine fever?

Oct 4, 2018 Keeping African swine fever out of the UK (Pig World feature) 

Oct 4, 2018 ASF reaches western Europe – what it means for the UK pig sector (Pig World feature)

Oct 3, 2018More wild boar confirmed with African swine fever in Belgium

Sept 24, 2018Belgium to cull 4,000 pigs to control African swine fever

Sept 21, 2018Belgian pork exports banned in 13 countries following ASF outbreaks

Sept 20, 2018 New African swine fever section on NPA website (plus update from Belgium)

Sept 18, 2018 - 'Limited' risk of ASF infecting domestic pigs - Belgian authorities

Sept 17, 2018 UK African swine fever risk level unchanged

Sept 14, 2018African swine fever in Belgium - NPA statement 

Sept 14, 2018Keeping African swine fever out of the UK pig herd

Sept 14, 2018France implementing 'rigorous' action plan to keep ASF out

Sept 13, 2018African swine fever confirmed in Belgium

Sept 7, 2018Chinese ASF cases rise to 13 as UN holds emergency meeting

Sept 3, 2018ASF risk levels raised following Romania outbreaks

Sept 3, 2018 China imposes transport restrictions after sixth ASF outbreak confirmed

Aug 29, 2018Movement of products likely to be cause of ASF spread in China - FAO

Aug 21, 2018China confirms third case of African swine fever

Aug 20, 2018China steps up ASF surveillance after two outbreaks confirmed

Aug 17, 2018Second ASF case detected in China

Aug 3, 2018African Swine Fever has reached China

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