AFRICAN SWINE FEVER - KEY INFORMATION AND UPDATES
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.
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
Regular updates on the ASF situation in Asia and Europe and what is happening in the UK to keep the virus out.
Dec 4, 2019 - New cases in Poland as ASF moves closer to Germany
Nov 25, 2019 - China lifts Canadian pork export ban
Nov 19, 2019 - ASF discovered close to German border
Nov 13, 2019 - High EU pig prices in 2020 as Asia looks to fill ASF gap
Nov 12, 2019 - FAO highlights continuing spread of ASF in Asia
Nov 11, 2019 - Consumer inflation in China close to eight-year high
Nov 8, 2019 - ASF 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, 2019 - Third countries reassured on ASF risk of PAP products
Nov 1, 2019 - Ed talks African swine fever on the World Service
Oct 31, 2019 - No country safe from African swine fever - OIE
Oct 31, 2019 - UK pork sector sets its sights on China
Oct 30, 2019 - ASF 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.
- In June, infected meat was discovered during checks at an airport in Northern Ireland.
- In July, Defra announced a new ASF public awareness campaign at our ports and airports.
- But after Farming Minister George Eustice admitted the Government expected ASF to strike within a year, the NPA said the border authorities were still not doing enough.
- In October, a Defra Minister and the CVO witnessed sniffer dogs in action at Heathrow airport as the authorities carried out targeted checks on passengers travelling from high risk countries.
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
#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
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
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.
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!
Oct 28, 2019 - ASF threatens Chinese retail crisis
Oct 23, 2019 - Global pork production forecast to drop 10% in 2020
Oct 22, 2019 - APHA updates ASF poster
Oct 17, 2019 - China claims pig numbers will bottom out by end of the year
Sep 23, 2019 - latest APHA update on ASF in South East Asia
Sep 17, 2019 - African swine fever confirmed in South Korea
Sep 13, 2019 - Irish farmers call for ASF import ban
Sep 9, 2019 - Philippines confirms African swine fever
Aug 27, 2019 - Continued 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 7, 2019 - ASF awareness campaign prominent at Heathrow
Aug 5, 2019 - 130,000 pigs culled as ASF wreaks havoc in Bulgaria
July 31, 2019 - NPA 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, 2019 - NPA calls for more resource to help keep ASF out of the UK
July 16, 2019 - ASF outbreak could cost industry £85m, Government predicts
July 4, 2019 - Philippines bans German pork imports over ASF fears
July 4, 2019 - NPA welcomes Defra plans to step up ASF border controls
June 21, 2019 - Scientists announce breakthrough in search for ASF vaccine
June 20, 2019 - OIE confirms further spread of ASF in Asia
June 11, 2019 - APHA 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, 2019 - ASF confirmed in North Korea as spread across Asia continues
May 21, 2019 - ASF spreading across Vietnam
May 17, 2019 - US to test pigs for ASF as surveillance is stepped up
May 13, 2019 - African swine fever confirmed at Hong Kong slaughterhouse
May 10, 2019 - How China’s ASF crisis could affect the global pork sector
May 10, 2019 - Researchers move step closer to wild boar ASF virus
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 12, 2019 - World Pork Expo cancelled due to ASF fears
Apr 9, 2019 - ASF insurance questionnaire
Apr 4, 2019 - Cambodia confirms first case of African swine fever
Mar 12, 2019 - Pig prices in China soaring as ASF hits production
Feb 22, 2019 - BBC discusses ASF and feral pigs in the Forest of Dean
Feb 21, 2019 - African 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, 2019 - ASF threat – what more can be done? (Pig World article)
Feb 9, 2019 - The many ways African swine fever could get into our pigs (Pig World article)
Feb 7, 2019 - African Swine Fever in China causes pork price drop (Pig World article)
Jan 25, 2019 - Growing concern that ASF could reach France
Jan 21, 2019 - See Zoe discuss ASF on Countryfile
Jan 18, 2019 - Australian border checks pick up ASF virus in pork products
Jan 17, 2019 - France plans wild boar cull
Jan 9, 2019 - China's battle to contain ASF
Dec 6, 2018 - Defra updates African swine fever advice
Dec 4, 2018 - Watch Zoe explain the impact of African swine fever
Nov 30, 2018 - Eustice outlines Government ASF preparations
Nov 29, 2018 - African swine fever awareness videos posted on YouTube
Nov 28, 2018 - Defra publishes updated notifiable disease contingency plan
Nov 21, 2018 - NPA spreads ASF message in Times article
Nov 12, 2018 - ASF virus detected in pig feed in China
Nov 8, 2018 - Review your unit's biosecurity in light of ASF threat (Pig World Veterinary View comment)
Oct 31, 2018 - Belgian authorities planning wild boar cull
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