Defra steps up efforts to keep ASF out of the country


By Alistair Driver, Pig World (UK)

July 4, 2019


Defra is stepping up its efforts to keep African swine fever (ASF) out of the UK, with new warnings to be introduced at ports and airports.


A spokesperson told Pig World the Department was working with Border Force on improving its work in targeting and seizing illegally imported meat products from high risk areas.


There will also be a poster campaign as part of wider efforts to raise awareness of the risks that importing meat and meat products from ASF-affected regions, including China, Russia, Romania and Poland, could have in introducing the virus to the UK.


“We are working to design a set of communications which will be placed in ports and airports, informing people of the disease risk and asking that they do not bring personal pork imports into the UK,” the spokesperson said.


While ASF has never been recorded in the UK, the spokesperson stressed that Defra was ‘not complacent’ and already has robust measures in place to protect against animal disease outbreaks.


“Since the spread of the disease into Europe, control measures have been put in place to ensure that there is no trade with the UK in live pigs, wild boar, or meat products from affected areas. Trade in live pigs, wild boar, or meat products from ASF affected Third Countries to the UK is prohibited,” he said.


“We are also working closely with the pig sector to raise awareness of the risks and advise on maintaining high biosecurity standards, which should minimise the risk of infected meat products being illegally or accidentally fed to feral wild boar or domestic pigs.”


In its latest ASF assessment, the Animal and Plant Health Agency highlighted ‘ongoing concerns’...