To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve biosecurity in the UK; what recent assessment he has made of the risk of African Swine Fever Virus reaching the UK; and what additional steps he has taken to ensure that trucks transporting pigs are not at risk of transmitting the virus.
The UK has robust measures and guidance to protect against the introduction of exotic diseases such as African swine fever (ASF). These measures include import bans on livestock and products of animal origin from high risk areas, a movement standstill regime and ban on swill feeding to pigs.
The International Disease Monitoring team regularly assess the changing global animal disease presence and its potential risk to the UK. The most recent assessment was made on June 2019. These ASF assessments are published on the gov.uk website.
There is existing legislation which requires the cleansing and disinfection of any vehicles used to transport livestock. Local Authorities are responsible for enforcement and have powers to take action if they believe an operator has not complied with these regulations.
A Government led campaign is currently running to raise awareness of the increased risk of ASF and measures that individuals can take to avoid the accidental introduction of disease. The UK Chief Veterinary Officer has also endorsed the National Pig Association’s #MuckFreeTruck campaign.