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Be aware of the risks of African Swine Fever

The Animal and Plant Healthy Agency have warned pig owners of the dangers of African Swine Fever reaching the UK. This comes as the disease has been noted as spreading in Europe. It has been confirmed in wild boar and feral pigs as well as in commercial and backyard pigs in Central and Eastern Europe. 

If you keep pigs, you must keep a close watch for, and report, any signs of African swine fever in your animals. You should never feed catering waste, kitchen scraps or meat products to pigs.

The signs of African swine fever are very similar to classical swine fever. The main clinical signs are:

  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • lack of energy
  • sudden death with few signs beforehand

Other signs can include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • red or dark skin, particularly on the ears and snout
  • discharges from the eyes and nose
  • laboured breathing and coughing
  • abortions
  • weakness
  • unsteady gait

There are several different strains of African swine fever. Pigs infected with mild strains may not become ill or show typical clinical signs. Severe strains of the disease are generally fatal. More information can be found here

To report suspicion of ASF in England, Scotland or Wales visit our GOV.UK page. Information about ASF and how to report it can also be found on Defra’s GOV.UK page

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