7 Aug 2017, 10:01 AM
AHDB Pork Blog
In my first blog as Senior Veterinary Manager at AHDB Pork, I’m slightly uneasy about talking about my holiday. Still, it was booked before I joined the team and coming from academia, August is the best time for a break. Exams are finished and students are settled in their research fields. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
While packing, I left a bit of room to bring home souvenirs and possibly even a bottle of the local brew (which never tastes quite the same on home ground!). One thing I NEVER bring back though, are any meat products. Apart from the legalities, it isn’t worth the risk. As I travel home, I look out for the posters on the risks of bringing in contaminated meat products. In some countries like Australia it’s impossible to miss them. But how many of us notice them when returning to the UK? We should! The UK, like Australia, is an island and provides a great opportunity to reduce the risk of diseases entering.
African Swine Fever (ASF) was recently detected in wild boar in the Czech Republic, representing a large geographical jump into a previously uninfected area, and it has now reached Romania as well. While the risk to UK pigs from ASF remains low, the jump highlights the distance and relative ease with which this virus can travel and infect pigs. It is thought the most likely source is contaminated products that have been fed to pigs.
At this time of year, with farm workers and people going on holiday, it’s time to remind everyone about the risks of bringing pork products from abroad. Simple rules should be adhered to. Don’t bring pork products on to farm, don’t feed scraps to dogs and cats who could carry them into pig areas, dispose of waste but make sure bins have lids to prevent scavengers gaining access.
A reminder too that it is illegal to feed any catering or household kitchen scraps to pigs, perhaps more relevant to pet pigs, but nevertheless, we can all spread the message and keep our pigs safe.
For information and your ASF poster visit www.pork.ahdb.org.uk/health-welfare/health/emerging-diseases/african-swine-fever/
By AHDB Pork at 7 Aug 2017, 10:01 AM