20 September 2000
TV horror show ends pig ban
By FWi staff
SWINE fever restrictions imposed on a farm without the disease have been lifted after footage of dying and overcrowded pigs were shown on television.
Neville Kemp, who farms at East Harling, Norfolk, was forced to keep pigs in his garage because of restrictions designed to prevent the disease spreading.
Although his farm has not had an outbreak of the disease, it is in one of several movement restriction zones imposed around infected units in East Anglia.
Mr Kemp said about 8350 pigs are being kept on his holding which was designed to hold about 7000. About 300 piglets are being born every week.
Pneumonia is killing up to 20% of the weaner pigs despite attempts to convert every spare building on the farm into suitable accommodation.
But the restrictions were lifted after footage of the overcrowded conditions was shown on a BBC regional news programme on Tuesday (19 September).
Mr Kemp said his pigs had been cleared to enter the Intervention Boards welfare scheme and 1,500 animals would be submitted as soon as possible.
But the National Pig Association has warned other pig farmers that adopting similar tactics to get restrictions may fall foul of the law if not done properly.
Government restrictions limit the number of people – including television crews – allowed on farms in areas where swine fever controls are in place.
“The government is in a position to prosecute pig farmers who try to expose the current [animal] welfare crisis,” according to the NPA website.
The “best advice, perhaps, to those who want to show what is going on, is to borrow a camera from visiting media and take the pictures themselves.”
- Hot Bank Holiday could force pig cull, FWi, 25 August, 2000
- Farmers may smuggle pigs from zones, FWi, 24 August, 2000