Guidance: African swine fever

African swine fever is a viral infection of domestic and feral pigs (wild boar). It is a notifiable disease.


Clinical signs

The symptoms of African swine fever and Classical swine fever are almost identical. They may occur in chronic or acute form:
• constipation followed by diarrhoea
• gummed-up eyes
• coughing
• blotchy discolouration of the skin
• abortion, stillbirths and weak litters
• weakness of hindquarters
• nervous signs, including convulsions and tremors in newborn piglets
Transmission and prevention
The virus may be transmitted by soft bodied ticks. The disease can be spread by:
• movement of infected pigs
• movement of contaminated vehicles, clothing, footwear and equipment
• pigs consuming contaminated pork or pork production

Keepers are reminded that it is illegal to feed kitchen waste of any description to pigs in the UK.

 

Biosecurity advice

You can help prevent the disease by keeping your premises biosecure. To ensure high levels of biosecurity, pig keepers should:
• report suspicion of the disease immediately
• minimise movement of animals, people, equipment and people on and off the premises
• source and buy pigs from reputable sources
• be aware of the disease risks when importing live pigs or pig products
• quarantine incoming pigs and house them in isolation away from the main herd
• avoid unnecessary visitors to your farm
• cleanse and disinfect all vehicles used to transport pigs
• check pigs once a day for signs of illness
• not feed kitchen waste to pigs
• use netting and bait traps to keep rodents, birds and flies out of buildings where pigs are housed
• prevent access to dead stock by dogs, cats and vermin
• avoid using the same staff or equipment across more than one premises - if it can't be avoided, cleanse and disinfect thoroughly.


Latest update (20/12/2018) - Risk level raised to medium


The risk level for the introduction of African swine fever into the UK has been raised from Low to Medium. This is due to the spread of African swine fever in parts of Eastern and Central Europe. This disease is a serious risk to the UK pig industry. Pig keepers should take measures to ensure the biosecurity of their farms.


Suspicion and confirmation

Contact your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office immediately on 0300 303 8268 if you suspect African swine fever.
APHA vets will investigate suspected cases.


African swine fever videos

These videos explain how the disease could be introduced into the UK and what you could do to help prevent that happening.
African swine fever: the impact of the disease
African swine fever: an introduction to the disease

For more information please visit the Welsh Government website