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NPA bangs the drum on ASF again to Government

4th Apr 2022 / By Rebecca Veale

The NPA has responded to the Government call for views on their biological security strategy to highlight the risk the national pig herd is exposed to by African swine fever (ASF) from lack of checks at the border.

The Cabinet Office review of the biological security strategy is a welcome one given ASF poses the biggest risk to pigs in this country now.

In the response, NPA also covered the wider disease risks from both known, unknown and zoonotic diseases and the suggestions made in terms of a more robust approach at the border, which includes ports, airports and postal hubs, would have wider biosecurity benefits.

In terms of measures, in Scotland sniffer dogs have been brought in to detect meat, and other products, in passenger luggage; a trial in this country a few years ago showed this to be a fruitful approach and is something the NPA feels should be brought into borders in England also.

NPA responded to highlight the wide implications for such an incursion and why preventing any disease from entering the country is the best approach. The response also suggested raising the categorisation of illegal meat entering the country given these wide implications for both pig health, welfare and the economy.

With rumours that import checks will be stalled again, the response to the Cabinet Office from NPA is a timely one.

Read the NPA response to the call for views in the Members' Area