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Ed talks African swine fever on the World Service

1st Nov 2019 / By Alistair Driver

NPA senior policy adviser Ed Barker has been interviewed for the BBC World Service Newshour programme about the spread of African swine fever (ASF). 

EdBarkerNPAThe interview was part of a wave of media publicity about the disease crisis, following comments by leading figures in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that no countries are safe from the spread of the virus, which has caused the death of a quarter of the world's pigs.

You can hear the interview here from about 30 minutes. 

Asked about the risk to the UK, Ed said: "We are lucky in that we are an island nation and we have a natural barrier in place. However, we have to recognise that disease is spreading in wild boar quickly across Europe - it has reached wild boar in Belgium, so it really isn't very far away. 

"We are probably at a greater risk in some respects as we have a large commercial outdoor pig herd, which they don't have in the rest of Europe."  

Ed stressed the need to contain the virus spread in wild boar and commercial pigs in infected countries in order to keep it out of the food chain and ensure there is no risk infected pork products get back into pig populations.