Researchers at The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) want pig producers to take part in a survey to find out how much the industry actually knows about African swine fever (ASF), including whether or not farmers would know what to do in the event of an outbreak.
“At the moment there is a lack of information about how quickly the disease would be reported if it came into the UK,” said RVC, adding that the research team want to know more about pig farmers’ awareness of the disease and its symptoms. They also want to assess the general motivations or barriers for reporting, or not reporting, a suspicion of the disease.
“This knowledge will be especially important in improving the chances of early detection of ASF if it came into this country,” they say, “and therefore minimising the spread of infection between farms.”
Pointing out that ASF was continuing to cause outbreaks in eastern European countries with devastating impact on the pig industry, the team is asking producers to take part in a “completely anonymous” 10-minute survey to help them establish the facts.
This would include answering questions such as:
- Would you recognise ASF on your farm?
- Do you know how ASF is spread?
- What do you think about the current reporting system?