African Swine Fever (ASP), the coronavirus pandemic and soaring feed prices have put pig farmers into a state of emergency in the European Union. And now the British government has been asked to stop importing pork from European Union countries where there are confirmed cases of swine fever as fears of the disease reach the island nation – According to a FarmingUK report. The deadly swine disease has already been detected in Germany, Belgium, Romania and Poland. Although the situation has affected Asian countries, including China and Vietnam, cases have been particularly severe, and cases have been reported from sub-Saharan Africa. The disease has already killed hundreds of thousands of pigs and wild boars in Europe and millions in Asia.
NFU Scotland has written to the UK government calling for urgent action to prevent pork from entering the UK. After all, without action, there is still a high risk of ASP entering the country. The union warned of this
About 40 per cent of the meat consumed in the UK is pork, and the economic performance of the pig farmers involved will be significant, which could mean a mortality rate of up to 100 per cent in numbers. However, there is no vaccine against the disease.
The disease is spreading rapidly across Europe and the Union has received reports that the situation is getting worse. At a time when our country faces a serious biosecurity risk, this cannot continue.
Martin Kennedy, head of the NFU in Scotland, expressed his concern in a letter to George Eustice, the defense minister. The union accused the UK government of failing to take any action so far due to concerns about violations of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The virus stays incredibly well in pork, and can live for months in smoked, dried, and salted meats, and possibly years in frozen meat.
Said Christine Middlemes, UK Senior Veterinarian. The UK government estimates that an ASP ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ outbreak could cost the UK £90m. ASP can only spread to domestic pigs and wild boars, not to humans.
Author: Bakonyi-Kiss Adrienne
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