In this file:

 

·         Government expects ASF to hit the UK within a year

·         Urgency needed after Minister admits ASF outbreak likely within a year

 

 

Government expects ASF to hit the UK within a year

 

By Aidan Fortune, GlobalMeatNews

16-Sep-2019 

 

The UK pig industry has called for more action to prevent African Swine Fever (ASF) entering the country, following an admission by government that it expects an outbreak within the next 12 months.

 

Responding to a letter from National Pig Association (NPA) chairman Richard Lister, Farming Minister George Eustice explained the current threat level for the disease that has decimated pig numbers in Asia. Eustice said: “The UK risk level is currently set at medium, which means an outbreak is expected within a year.”​

 

Eustice added that Defra and the devolved authorities are actively working with UK Border Force to improve intelligence sharing and detect and seize illegal imports and to raise awareness amongst travellers about the risks of bringing in potentially infected animal products.

 

The NPA warned that more needs to be done to protect UK borders. “If a Government Minister really thinks the virus will be here within a year, it is patently obvious that more resource and effort is needed to keep it out,”​ said NPA chief executive Zoe Davies. “And Border Force needs to demonstrate that it understands the scale of the threat.”​

 

Davies questioned if the issue was being taken seriously enough despite a poster campaign being announced earlier this year​. “We are not seeing the posters being displayed with any consistency or prominence at ports and airports and there has been little interest shown in helping Defra to promote these crucial messages. ​

 

“The authorities in England are lagging behind the Devolved authorities, which have been far more proactive in displaying posters and checking baggage. For example, checks in Northern Ireland in June resulted in the seizure of 300kgs of illegally imported meat and dairy products and the worrying discovery of the ASF virus in sausages​. ​

 

“But in England, we haven’t seen any posters at all and Border Force has stated that they do not intend to carry out targeted baggage checks. There are also only two sniffer dogs deployed across the entire country, which is woefully inadequate. We have called for more, but are told it is too expensive.”​

 

The government estimates that an outbreak of ASF in the UK would cost in the region of £90m however the NPA believes that this is quite conservative, especially given the export market which is worth £470m a year...

 

more

https://www.globalmeatnews.com/Article/2019/09/16/Government-expects-ASF-to-hit-the-UK-within-a-year

 

 

Urgency needed after Minister admits ASF outbreak likely within a year

The National Pig Association (NPA) has called for a more robust approach amidst concerns UK Border Force was not taking the threat seriously

 

Alex Black, Farmers Guardian (UK) 

16 Sep 2019

 

Farming Minister George Eustice has admitted an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) was expected within a year with the National Pig Association (NPA) urging Defra and the UK port authorities to take a more robust approach.

 

Impact

 

NPA has warned an ASF outbreak would have a devastating impact on the pig sector and the families and businesses which rely on rural trade.

 

As part of a response to a letter from NPA chairman Richard Lister, Mr Eustice said: “The UK risk level is currently set at medium, which means an outbreak is expected within a year.”

 

He said Defra and the devolved authorities were working with UK border force to improve intelligence sharing, detect and seize illegal imports and raise awareness amongst travellers.

 

But NPA said it had seen little evidence policies were being implemented with any rigour after Defra announced ASF messaging was being stepped up.

 

Chief executive Dr Zoe Davies said NPA did not think the border force was taking it seriously enough.

 

“We are not seeing the posters being displayed with any consistency or prominence at ports and airports and there has been little interest shown in helping Defra to promote these crucial messages,” she said.

 

She added English authorities were lagging behind the devolved nations which had been much more proactive in displaying posters and checking baggage.

 

“For example, checks in Northern Ireland in June resulted in the seizure of 300kgs of illegally imported meat and dairy products and the worrying discovery of the ASF virus in sausages,” she said.

 

But in England she said they had seen no posters and the border force has said it did not intend to carry out targeted baggage checks.

 

“There are also only two sniffer dogs deployed across the entire country, which is woefully inadequate. We have called for more, but are told it is too expensive.

 

Threat ...

 

more

https://www.fginsight.com/news/news/urgency-needed-after-minister-admits-asf-outbreak-likely-within-a-year-93614