14 September 2000
Swine fever fears played down

By FWi staff

FEARS that swine fever could spread further following its discovery in a herd belonging to an active haulier, have been played down by an industry consultant.

The National Pig Association website says Ministry of Agriculture vets are nervous about the ramifications of Wednesdays (13 Sep) confirmed outbreak.

It says contacts with the Norfolk/Suffolk border unit are now being traced and in the meantime all the pig industry can do is hold its breath and hope for the best.

But a leading industry source, who asked not to be named, was confident this does not mark an escalation of the crisis.

Provided that the farmer followed the correct disinfecting procedures on his vehicle, I dont think the ramifications are as severe as they could be.

And I know for a fact the farmer involved is very responsible, he said.

The affected farmer runs one-lorry haulage business which did not travel more than 30 miles from base.

The unit lies only 800 yards from a nursery unit where the disease was discovered and all animals slaughtered last month.

The consultant suspected the disease could have been spread by birds, rodents, or mud on vehicles.

He said the 30-day incubation period of the disease, twice the usual length, had complicated control predictions.

I believe the ministry has done very well controlling the outbreak, but its like wrestling with a ghost.

Things seem to be under control, then one like this comes along.