Swine fever outbreak threatens pigs

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Two more pig farms have been hit by the latest outbreak of classical swine fever, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said today.

Two more pig farms have been hit by the latest outbreak of classical swine fever, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said today.

The holdings, one in Norfolk, and one in Essex, will now have to slaughter all 2,850 of their pigs.

It emerged yesterday that a farm in Suffolk had to slaughter all 3,500 of its pigs after becoming the first in the UK to be hit by the disease for 14 years.

The affected holding in Norfolk is a breeding farm, and supplied pigs to the farms in Essex and Suffolk.

MAFF said in a statement that the Essex farm was near Colchester, while the one in Norfolk was in the Thetford area.

A ministry spokesman said the pigs would be tested during the day to determine which ones had the disease for valuation purposes. Slaughtering the animals was expected to begin tomorrow.

"Protection zones of three kilometres have been placed around all three infected premises in which any movement of pigs is prohibited," he said.

"Wider surveillance areas have also been established in which all farms holding pigs will be inspected and kept under surveillance. Known keepers of pigs in the three areas will be written to individually."

The farm in Suffolk is owned by BQP (British Quality Pigs) of Framlington.

Swine fever is a highly infectious viral disease which is lethal to pigs but harmless to humans.

It is transmitted directly from animal to animal, by transporting pigs in contaminated vehicles and through feeding pigs waste food containing infected meat.

Under European Union regulations, all pigs on infected farms must be slaughtered and their carcasses destroyed. Compensation is paid at 50% of the market value for infected animals and 100% of market value for non-infected animals.

The last outbreak of CSF occurred in Britain in 1986, but numerous outbreaks were confirmed in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy in 1998

Comments