17 April 2001
MAFF plays down swine-fever fears

By FWi staff

MINISTRY of Agriculture officials have played down fears of a new outbreak of swine fever after a farm was placed under disease restrictions.

Movement restrictions have been imposed on a farm at Ardleigh, near Colchester in Essex, and tests conducted on pigs found dead there.

But a MAFF spokeswoman said it was not out of the ordinary for these precautionary measures to be taken.

“About 12 suspected cases of swine fever are investigated each year, so this does not necessarily mean this farm does have the disease,” she said.

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

Results from samples taken from Ardleigh are expected back from the laboratory by the end of the week.