African swine fever – latest updates and important information
In the past few weeks, African swine fever has been confirmed in Belgium, while cases have continued to escalate in central and eastern Europe. Meanwhile, China is battling to contain the virus since it was discovered in the country for the first time in early August.
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.
We are providing regular updates on our website about the worsening ASF situation in Europe and beyond.
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, 2018 - ASF confirmed on 20,000-pig farm in China
Oct 12, 2018 - France 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, 2018 - Health 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)
Sept 24, 2018 - Belgium to cull 4,000 pigs to control African swine fever
Sept 17, 2018 - UK African swine fever risk level unchanged
Sept 14, 2018 - African swine fever in Belgium - NPA statement
Sept 14, 2018 - Keeping African swine fever out of the UK pig herd
Sept 14, 2018 - France implementing 'rigorous' action plan to keep ASF out
Sept 13, 2018 - African swine fever confirmed in Belgium
Sept 7, 2018 - Chinese ASF cases rise to 13 as UN holds emergency meeting
Sept 3, 2018 - ASF risk levels raised following Romania outbreaks
Aug 21, 2018 - China confirms third case of African swine fever
Aug 17, 2018 - Second ASF case detected in China
Aug 3, 2018 - African Swine Fever has reached China
The NPA is taking a multi-faceted approach:
- Communication - we are communicating with producers and the allied industry to get across the key messages about keeping the disease out, including ensuring pigs are not fed food waste and that pig keepers ensure visitors to have not had recent contact with affected regions (more details below).
- Contingency planning - While we must remain optimistic that we can keep the virus out of the UK, the NPA is urging all pig producers to consider their contingency plans in the event that the virus does make it here. This would result in the imposition of movement controls and other restrictions (more details below).
- Feral boar - The NPA is concerned about the risk of disease spread posed by feral boar, particularly in the Forest of Dean. We will continue to discuss the situation with Defra and to work with other organisations in and around the forest to raise awareness of the risks.
- Border controls - We are urging the Government to ensure it does its bit at our border control points to keep potentially infected meat out of the UK.
Biosecurity and waste food
- A summary of the key messages for keeping African swine fever out of the UK can be viewed on the NPA website here
- Defra-APHA summarise the symptoms and provide biosecurity advice here
- A campaign to highlight the dangers of swill feeding and more information can be found on this link. All pig keepers and the public must ensure pigs are not fed catering waste, kitchen scraps or pork products. Feeding of meat products to feral pigs is also illegal.
Symptoms and contingency planning
- It is vital that all pig keepers familiarise themselves with the symptoms of ASF. To help with this Defra-APHA have published some photos of clinical signs of disease of African swine fever on Flickr.
- 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.
- 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.
- The NPA has published a contingency plan, giving advice on how to respond to notifiable disease outbreaks - you can view it here
- 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.
- APHA's assessments of the disease situation in central and eastern Europe 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!