A BIOSECURITY warning has been issued to farmers following the first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) to be confirmed in wild boar in North West Italy.

Pig producers, veterinary surgeons and industry colleagues have been reminded to tighten biosecurity where possible as the disease continues to sweep across Europe, with ongoing issues in Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe.

Grace Webster of the Pig Veterinary Society issued the following advice to pig producers: "ASF is an infectious viral condition of pigs which kills the majority of pigs it infects. It can be spread in a number of ways including through infected meat products because the virus survives in chilled pork, frozen and cured meats and preserved meats. There are a number of important considerations to prevent this disease coming on to your farm," she continued.

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"Feeding of waste food, anything that has been in the kitchen is illegal in this country, to try prevent spread of disease. You should never allow consumption of pig products on the farm and make sure all food is consumed in a separate canteen area away from pigs. Remove personal protective equipment before you eat. Never store food in the same fridge that you store pig vaccines or medicines. Remember there is a risk from non-pig products in a fridge which has been stored alongside pig products. Food from a vegetarian or vegan kitchen can also carry a risk from cross contamination, even vegetable peelings and food sill contained within their packet can carry a risk," she explained.

"Consider the risk from delivery drivers and maintenance workers, either form their food or from their clothing. Outdoor production can be vulnerable, particularly if is there is a public right of way which passes through the unit or alongside the unit and signage is important to make sure people are aware they shouldn't feed pigs human food."