UFU warns against possible spread of African Swine Fever

Thursday, 4 September, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has voiced its extreme concern over the potential serious disease by the spreading of African Swine Fever.  While no cases of African Swine Fever have been reported in the UK or Ireland, there have been a growing number of cases of this disease in Eastern Europe and it is continuing to spread.  The Ulster Farmers’ Union is calling on all pig farmers to take all actions possible to prevent the introduction of this disease into Northern Ireland.

UFU deputy president Ivor Ferguson said; “African Swine Fever is a devastating disease that can move through a herd very quickly infecting all pigs causing them to become very ill, with a majority dying. While it poses no risk to human health, it is a very serious pig disease that can have very significant repercussions for a farm business.  The disease is very difficult to detect as the symptoms are very similar to other porcine diseases, which is why farmers need to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect their herds”.

UFU Pork and Bacon Policy chairman Jonathan Cuddy added; “The Union has already been involved in an industry meeting with DARD to discuss the background to the current outbreak and the measures that DARD and the industry have in place to prevent the spread of this disease to Northern Ireland.  Pig farmers need to take this potential disease risk very seriously. Farmers need to be extremely cautious and we would strongly advise producers to not import pigs or pig products at this time and we would also encourage them to review their biosecurity to ensure it takes into account the potential risk of African Swine Fever”.