Defra told to ‘take decisive action’ on ASF amid growing concern

The government has been told to ‘take decisive action’ with securing borders to keep African swine fever (ASF) out of the UK following new cases in Europe.

The National Pig Association (NPA) has written to Defra Secretary Thérèse Coffey, urging her to take ‘more robust action’ to keep the disease at bay.

It follows yet another delay in the introduction of checks on goods from the EU, as well as confirmation of Sweden’s first-ever case of ASF.

NPA chairman Rob Mutimer urged Defra to “take decisive action to put in place the proper protections at our borders and ensure that the UK’s biosecurity remains a priority for the government.”

In the absence of proper checks at ports, following the most recent delay to the Border Target Operating Model, the NPA called for “more frequent and robust checks at all points of entry, including ports, airports and postal hubs”.

The body welcomed measures introduced last September to limit non-commercial imports of pork and the work that has been done to raise awareness of the disease.