19 April 2001
All-clear for swine-fever suspect

By FWi staff

A FARM where a suspected case of swine fever was being investigated has been given the all-clear by the Ministry of Agriculture.

A MAFF spokesman said laboratory tests on samples taken from stock on the at James Blyths Wick farm, Ardleigh, near Colchester, had proved negative.

The spokesman added that at this stage he was unable to say what the animals died of.

There had been fears that the disease, which devastated the areas pig industry last year, had returned when pigs became ill at Mr Blyths farm last week.

Fears were compounded by the fact that the breeding unit supplying the farm is located near a farm that was infected last year.

A local industry source speculated that the pigs probably had porcine dermatitis nephropathy syndrome (PDNS), which has similar symptoms.

About 12 suspected cases of swine fever are investigated by MAFF each year.

The outbreak of swine fever in East Anglia last summer led to the slaughter of a quarter of a million animals.