Vets renew pig slaughter plea

10 November 2000

Vets renew pig slaughter plea

By Alistair Driver

VETERINARY experts have renewed calls for the slaughter all pigs within 3km of swine fever outbreaks, after the 16th case of the disease was confirmed.

The latest infected farm, a 5000-pig unit where an outbreak was confirmed last Saturday (4 November), is located near Topcroft, Norfolk.

It is less than 3km from two other pig farms where animals have already been infected with the disease since the current outbreak began in August.

But only pigs on the newly infected unit and four nearby farms are being slaughtered in a bid to control the disease in the Topcroft area.

The Ministry of Agriculture said it would slaughter pigs in the vicinity of infected farms on a case-by-case basis only where there is “good reason” to do so.

The move dismayed the Pig Veterinary Society which renewed its call made two months ago for all pigs to be slaughtered within 3km of infected farms

The high number of outdoor units in East Anglia magnifies the risk of “lateral spread” between nearby farms and more pigs should be slaughtered.

“MAFF has not done what we suggested. If it had, the risk of lateral transmission would have been reduced,” said PVS vice-president, Richard Potter.

A MAFF spokeswoman said she would not speculate on whether the latest outbreak could have been prevented by following the vets advice.

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