New African Swine Flu outbreak sparks fresh warnings
Vets and farmers have been put on high alert after African Swine Fever was detected in a small herd of pigs near Baden-Wuerttemberg, near Germany’s border with France.
The outbreak, confirmed by scientists at the Friedrich-Löffler-Institute, is some 311 miles away from previous known cases.
A total of 16 animals died on the farm before it was confirmed, with state culling the remaining pigs and restriction zones being put in place around the property.
An investigation is under way to try to establish the source and whether the virus was present in the local wild boar population.
The National Pig Association (NPA) said the outbreak was yet another stark reminder of the disease’s ability to move quickly and easily.
“ASF presents a very real risk UK to producers without import checks being introduced; something we highlighted when we wrote to the prime minister this week,” Ms Veale said.
The disease survives in faeces, urine and blood, as well as pigmeat, and can survive for months in smoked, dried and cured meats and possibly years in frozen meat.
The current risk to UK pigs is classified as “medium” – the highest it could be without an ongoing disease outbreak.
An outbreak in Italy and the detection of the disease among the wild boars found around Rome prompted a cull of the animals earlier this month.
African Swine Flu can be spread by:
- Direct contact with infected pigs
- Indirect contact through feeding infected pork or pork products
- Contaminated objects such as vehicles, clothes and equipment