The RHA has been asked by DEFRA to help increase awareness about the threat that is being posed at the moment by African Swine Fever.
This disease is spreading in Europe and there is a higher risk of it reaching the UK as it has now reached Belgium on the border with France. It can be spread on clothing, boots and on vehicles, although the most likely means of pigs in the UK becoming infected is from eating infected pork brought back by someone who has bought local produce (i.e. pork or wild boar products) or something as simple as a ham sandwich.
Unusual as it may sound, this kind of food can end up being fed to pigs – the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak was caused by a pig farmer feeding catering waste to his pigs.
As hauliers travel throughout Europe and some visit farms to transport livestock, we believe this is an important audience to get our messages out to. We have produced a leaflet for hauliers and this has been accompanied by a letter from all UK Chief Veterinary Officers explaining the disease risk. Download the leaflet here.
If you or your organisation are involved in the movement of livestock, please see the information provided by DEFRA to find out how you can avoid spreading this disease.