Swine fever breaks out

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The Independent Online

Pig farmers were braced for an epidemic of swine fever yesterday after the first outbreak of the disease for 14 years.

Pig farmers were braced for an epidemic of swine fever yesterday after the first outbreak of the disease for 14 years.

A veterinary expert said it was likely that the disease had spread, after vets from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods confirmed the outbreak of classical swine fever (CSF) at a pig farm in Suffolk.

The farmer in the Woodbridge area has now been told all his 3,500 pigs will be slaughtered. The infected pigs were supplied to the farm by a breeding unit in Norfolk that has also sent pigs to Essex. Restriction orders have been placed on the farms affected.

Swine fever is a highly infectious viral disease, passed directly from animal to animal, which is lethal to pigs but harmless to humans. The last outbreak in Britain was in 1986.

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