BRUSSELS-LONDON (B)--An EU Commission spokesman closely connected to discussions between UK and EU officials on the current outbreak of classical swine fever in England said Aug. 16 that the commission is confident that Britain has control over the situation. "It looks as though it (swine fever) has not spread from East Anglia," said Andrea Dahmen.
Meanwhile an Agriculture Ministry official in London said test results on animals from outside the East Anglia region are still awaited. He also said the number of pigs slaughtered or earmarked for slaughter is now approximately 12,000.
Dahmen said "The commission is confident that the UK authorities have things in hand. At the moment there is no further confirmation of herds affected."
The first outbreak was confirmed on a Suffolk, East Anglia farm owned by British Quality Pigs, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods. A farm in Essex and a breeding unit in Norfolk, which supplied both farms, were subsequently confirmed Aug. 10.
Eight fattening units also supplied by some of the nursery units are now being investigated, but there are no plans to slaughter any of those animals.
Earlier Aug. 16, the U.S. government denied a report transmitted by the UK Press Association news agency that it had banned imports of British pigs and pig products in the wake of the swine fever outbreak. It said it was closely monitoring the situation, and the only action being taken is to hold incoming shipments at the port of arrival until assurances are received that they are disease-free.
The EU Vets Committee is set to meet for a discussion on the outbreak Aug. 22. The Commission placed a temporary ban on exports of live pigs and pig semen from England on Aug. 14. The ban applies to exports both to other EU countries and to countries outside the EU.
The disease outbreak is a further blow to the already struggling UK pig industry. The global export of live animals is estimated to have an annual turnover of 12 million sterling.