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Do not send pork product gifts to pig farms this Christmas

A message from the National Pig Association today (18 December) is a reminder to all to be mindful of biosecurity and the risks of bringing pork onto pig farms.

18 December 2019, at 12:31pm

The National Pig Association (NPA) politely reminded all UK producers to beware of non-UK pork companies bearing pork product gifts.

A number of swine diseases, including African swine fever (ASF) are able to survive in pork products and food items are believed to have been a major vector for the spread of ASF in China over the last year.

In the UK, on-farm staff are reminded not to bring any pork products on site. This advice is valuable for any staff working on pig farms globally. Biosecurity should be the number one priority and prohibiting potential disease vectors on farm is one method of achieving good biosecurity.

Here are some useful tips for disease prevention in pig farms taken from our Disease index entry for African swine fever.

There is no live or attenuated vaccine for the prevention of ASF therefore control of the virus is reliant on strict biosecurity.

  • Do not feed domestic pigs food waste; this is illegal in the UK, other EU regions and some states within the US
    • Where ‘permitted garbage feeding’ is legal in US states, pigs fed this way are prohibited from exportation.
  • Do not leave food waste exposed for wild swine species to access. Dispose of food waste properly.
  • Abide by strict biosecurity rules. Do not take pig meat onto farms, or restrict all food (and consumption of food) to a canteen. All staff on farm should be inducted onto a strict programme of hand and equipment sanitisation before and after contact with pigs.
  • Follow rules and regulations on disposal of food waste at ferry ports and airports.
  • Provide the means for staff and visitors to thoroughly sanitise their hands and equipment.
  • Ensure that wild boar, warthogs and wild pigs, and materials potentially contaminated by such wild species do not come into contact with domestic pigs.
  • Check infected regions before import of goods that could potentially be contaminated.
  • Advise and educate people on the risks of bringing back pork products from infected regions.