11 August 2000
Swine fever cull on six new farms
By Alistair Driver
MAFF has ordered the slaughter of all pigs on six nursery units in a bid to control the spread of Classical Swine Fever (CSF) in East Anglia.
The units, owned by the UKs biggest pig producer BQP, were all supplied by the Norfolk breeding farm where an outbreak was confirmed on Wednesday (09 August).
The Banham unit was confirmed with CSF by MAFF vets on Wednesday and two other nursery units it supplies, one in Suffolk and one in Essex, have had the disease confirmed.
MAFF has now decided to cull pigs on the six other the nursery units it supplies in what it describes as a “pre-emptive” move.
Two of the units are, however, suspected of having the disease, a MAFF spokeswoman said.
One finishing unit supplied by the nursery units is also under suspicion.
It is one of six finishing farms supplied by the nursery units being tested by MAFF. The ministry will wait on test results before deciding on slaughter
The slaughter order on the six new farms will add to the cull of over 6000 pigs on the three “confirmed” farms.
Suffolk-based BQP, which finishes 10,000 pigs a year, controls all elements of the pigmeat production process from breeding to slaughter and uses its own transport.
This has prompted speculation that the outbreak may be confined to the company.
However, the extensive network of the companys operations may increase the likelihood of more confirmed outbreaks, according to the National Pig Association website – www.npa-uk.net.
BQP executives met MAFF officials and other representatives to discuss the crisis on Thursday night.