Decision day for swine fever ban

22 August 2000

Decision day for swine fever ban

by FWi staff

VETERINARY experts in Brussels are set to decide whether to extend or amend their ban on exports of English pigs imposed because of swine fever.

The Standing Veterinary Committee will decide whether to give the go-ahead to exports of English live pigs and boar semen at a meeting on Tuesday (22 August).

No English farms have tested positive for swine fever since five pig units in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were confirmed to have the disease earlier this month.

Since then, up to forty farms have been tested. However, no more cases of the disease have been found and government officials believe it is now contained.

If the committee is convinced the disease is under control, they could lift the ban immediately. But they could equally decide to extend it to include pigmeat.

One senior commission executive, who asked not to be named, told Farmers Weekly that he was optimistic the ban would not be extended.

“It is clear a lot has already been done by the UK authorities to contain the disease,” he said. “So far it seems to be restricted to just one breeding line.”

A middle approach would see the veterinary experts maintain the ban in existing surveillance zones and extend the date until they meet again next month.

More than 12,000 pigs have now been slaughtered since classical swine fever was confirmed on five farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

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