11 September 2000
Swine fever suspected on more farms

By Alistair Driver

ANOTHER six farms in Norfolk and Suffolk are highly suspected of having swine fever, the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed.

If, as is likely, all the cases are positive, sixteen farms will have been infected with the disease since the outbreak began on 8 August.

MAFF imposed movement restrictions for farms within 10km of seven units where pigs were showing clinical signs of the disease on Friday (8 September).

Over the weekend, swine fever was confirmed on two pig farms, including one of the seven. Test results from the six other units are expected soon.

New legislation was used to impose the zones to prevent farmers from moving pigs in a bid to avoid getting caught up in swine fever restriction areas.

On hearing of a suspected outbreak nearby, producers had been moving pigs off units to avoid new movement restrictions when the disease is confirmed.

However, this threatened to spread the disease.

If any of tests prove negative, restrictions will be immediately lifted. If they prove positive, however, the restriction zones will be maintained.

Farmers with queries can call the MAFF helpline on (01284) 749820.