Malton refuses East Anglian pigs

11 August 2000

Malton refuses East Anglian pigs

By Alistair Driver

THE UKs leading pigmeat processor is refusing to take any pigs from East Anglia following the outbreak the classical swine fever (CSF) in the region.

Malton Foods will process no pigs from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex or Cambridgeshire until the company is satisfied it is safe to do so, a spokeswoman said.

Even though Malton does not operate abattoirs in East Anglia, pigs from the region account for 10% of its throughput.

Parts of the East Anglian industry have ground to a standstill following confirmation on Tuesday and Wednesday of outbreaks at three farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

A number of local abattoirs in the region have closed as MAFF has imposed strict restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of the disease.

Restrictions zones have been placed around the three affected farms and a 500-sow breeding herd, based at Quidenham, Norfolk, is being investigated as the possible source of the outbreak.

It supplied pigs to nursery units in Suffolk and Essex where CSF has been confirmed.

The disruption could get worse as MAFF has decided to cull all pigs on the six nursery units supplied by the Norfolk breeder.

At present each confirmed site has a 3km radial protection zone around it in which no movement of pigs is allowed until 21 days after the slaughter of pigs there.

Wider surveillance areas of approximately 10km radius from the confirmed site have also been designated.

Within these all pig movement is banned for a minimum of 7 days after slaughter.

After that pigs can only be moved if they have been given a clean bill of health by MAFF vets.

Norfolk producers were caught out on Thursday (10 August) morning, unaware abattoirs owned by Bowes, Grampian and Pilgrims in Norfolk were in newly appointed protection zones.

National Pig Association (NPA) regional manager Ian Campbell said MAFF had recognised the problems caused by movement restrictions late in the day.

He asked MAFF officials for notifications to be made public by mid-day to prevent farmers loading pigs without knowing they were in a restricted zone.

Mr Campbell said efforts will be made to use the NPA website — — to brief producers.

There is also concern that swine fever controls could affect exports of pigmeat.

The Dutch government has banned imports of live British pigs following the outbreak, a MAFF spokeswoman confirmed on Friday (11 August).

And a shipment to the Far East was stranded in shipping crates while one to the USA was on hold, reports the NPA website.

NPA chairman John Godfrey is urging the government to persuade importers of UK pigmeat to accept it on a regional basis.

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