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ASF risk raised to HIGH from human-mediated pathways

11th Jul 2022 / By Rebecca Veale

Following the two recent outbreaks of ASF in Germany, Defra has reviewed the situation in Europe and has raised the risk from human-mediated routes into the UK to high.

The latest outbreak, which was close to the French border, is the fifth such event in Europe in the last two months.

Defra noted the considerable uncertainty as the movement of people into the UK at present is affected by travel disruption, fuel prices and reducing seasonal worker numbers in their assessment.

Read the full Defra outbreak assessment here.

The greatest threat has always been entry of ASF virus into the UK via humans due to the checks in place for live animals and legal imports so whilst the overall risk of entry of ASF virus into the UK from all combined pathways remains at medium, this new status is of huge concern and demonstrates how vulnerable the UK is to this disease.

NPA has been calling for greater controls at UK borders for some time and was hugely disappointed and worried when the checks which were due to come into force in July 2022 were postponed.

Having written to the Prime Minister and raised concerns at every opportunity, there has been little action to better protect the national pig herd.

Producers must continue to practice high levels of biosecurity to mitigate any risk and NPA is planning wider communications to producers, wider industry and seasonal workers.

The political lobby will also continue and the team hope to make the most of the summer recess when MPs often visit producers to get the message across again. If you have an MP meeting or farm visit planned then please get in touch.