‘Help keep African Swine Fever out of Northern Ireland’ – Poots | Newry Times

Posted by
editor@newrytimes.com
Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
Politics

Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots MLA has reminded pig owners about the risk of African Swine Fever (ASF) following a confirmed case in a wild boar in Northern Italy. 

 

'Help keep African Swine Fever out of Northern Ireland' - Poots - Newry Times - todays news in newry

 

ASF is already present in a number of countries across Europe.

 

 

The risk of an incursion to the UK has been assessed as medium and continues to cause concern.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots says, “To date, there has never been a case of ASF in the UK or Ireland.

“And while there is no human health risk with the disease, it is easily transmitted in pork products and is potentially fatal to pigs.

“If the disease were to reach our shores, it could have a devastating effect on export markets and would also require the humane culling of pigs on infected premises to prevent further spread.

“I stress the need of maintaining a high level of biosecurity, make sure that your pigs do not access any kitchen waste, only feed your pigs a purchased pig ration and to remain vigilant for signs of disease for early detection of the disease.”

 

 

Everyone has a part to play in protecting Northern Ireland (NI) against the risk of introducing animal or plant disease through the import of Products of Animal Origin (PoAO) or plant materials.

There are strict rules about bringing food products, plants and plant products into NI.

For more info on the rules, please click here.

Furthermore, good biosecurity practices including strict hygiene measures are essential in preventing disease – people should not take meat or meat products into areas where pigs are kept and should only eat food in designated areas such as staff rooms or the farm kitchen.

Pig keepers, farm staff and anyone in contact with pigs should wash their hands before and after eating or preparing food.

Keepers are being reminded that it is illegal to feed catering waste of any description or domestic food waste to farm animals in the UK, including pigs kept as pets. 

 


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It should be noted some of the outbreaks of ASF in Europe have been attributed to domestic pigs consuming contaminated pork or pork products.

Northern Ireland’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Robert Huey says, “The introduction of African Swine Fever would have a significant detrimental impact on our pig industry.

“No matter how many pigs you keep, you need to be aware of the potential consequences of feeding waste food to your animals.

“Not only is it illegal, but you run the risk of spreading disease which could be fatal to your livestock.

 

 

“You can purchase a range of pig foods from your local agricultural merchant that can be safely fed to your pigs and which is the most reliable way of giving them a balanced diet.

“The need for consistent excellent biosecurity is also paramount in minimising disease risk, such as providing dedicated clothing and boots for workers and preventing vehicles which may be contaminated from entering pig premises,” he adds.

 


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