A UK-wide exercise that simulates an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) will take place this week to test government contingency plans to contain and eliminate the disease in the event that it reached the UK.
The exercise takes on extra significance with the news last week that the virus has been detected in domestic pigs in Germany for the first time.
- If you have visited ASF-affected areas in Europe, or elsewhere in the world, you must not bring any pork or pork products back to the UK.
- Dispose of leftovers or food waste in secure bins that pigs or wildlife cannot access.
- Farmers, the public and members of the food industry should practise high biosecurity standards, including never feeding catering waste, kitchen scraps or meat products to pigs which is illegal and can spread the disease.
The NPA has been helping the planning team shape the exercise. Chief executive Zoe Davies gave an overview of the pig industry in a presentation to over 200 delegates, including 35 overseas invitees from trading partners, at an introductory event.
“The exercise is really important to test readiness and resilience. NPA will be using the scenarios that will be played out this week to test our own contingency plans and ensure that we are as ready as we can be,” she said.