A survey aimed at small-scale pig keepers, including smallholders, pet pig keepers and hobby keepers, has been launched by the UK government and devolved administrations as part of the UK’s campaign to combat the introduction and spread of the pig disease African Swine Fever.
The survey aims to find out more about what small-scale pig keepers already know about the disease, as well as asking about their feeding and biosecurity practices and what sources they refer to for guidance on keeping pigs, and the results of the survey will be used to improve information available to pig keepers to help protect the health of their pigs and the UK pig industry.
The fatal pig disease is currently circulating in parts of Europe and Asia and in the last couple of years, has led to the deaths of millions of pigs worldwide. Whilst there has never been an outbreak in the UK and the risk of exposure to the UK pig population is currently considered to be low, this is highly dependent on the level of biosecurity on individual pig premises.
UK chief veterinary office Christine Middlemiss has called on anyone and everyone who keeps pig to take actions to contribute to keeping the disease out of the UK. She said: “African swine fever has no cure and there are currently no effective vaccines. If it were to reach the UK, it would have a devastating impact on commercial pig keepers, small-scale pig keepers and pet pig keepers alike.
“If you are a small-scale pig keeper or keep pigs as pets, please complete the survey to help governments across the UK understand more about your knowledge of the disease and your pig keeping practices. This will help us to provide you with the information you need to protect the health of your pigs and all UK pigs.”
The survey can be found here and closes on August 31.