4 September 2000
Further case of swine fever confirmed
by Johann Tasker
A FURTHER case of swine fever has been confirmed on a pig farm in Norfolk, the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed
The farm is in a restriction zone where pig units are already under surveillance because of their proximity to other infected holdings, said a MAFF statement.
Preparations are being made to slaughter about 1000 pigs on the farm in the next few days, said the statement on Monday (4 September).
The new case is the first to be confirmed since 12 August. It brings to six the number of farms infected since the current outbreak began on 8 August.
A Ministry spokeswoman explained the gap between this latest case and the previous five cases by saying the disease had incubated for longer this time round.
She played down suggestions that the disease was spreading, saying there were various unspecified possible links to the other five cases still being investigated.
Nevertheless, this latest case effectively puts paid to hopes held by pig farmers that restrictions would soon be lifted because the disease was under control.
Farm leaders had requested a meeting with agriculture minister Nick Brown in the light of continued uncertainty about when control zones would be lifted.
Ironically, the announcement that a further outbreak of swine fever had been confirmed came just hours before that evening meeting was due to take place.
Earlier, the National Pig Association (NPA) said producers would face an “intolerable extra burden” should there be any delay in lifting the restrictions.
Before meeting Mr Brown on Monday (4 Sep), they joined other farm leaders to voice concern that he has done too little to help producers through the crisis.
The NPA has claimed that swine fever restrictions could wipe-out the industry in East Anglia and spell bankruptcy for hundreds of innocent producers.