NPA reasserts dangers of feeding food waste to pigs
The National Pig Association (NPA) has warned all pig keepers of the potential danger of feeding waste food to pigs.
The warning comes after a comment was openly made by Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off judge, Prue Leith, during an appearance at the Henley Literary Festival about where the leftover cakes and bread from the show go.
According to the Telegraph she claimed that she gave them to a neighbour to feed to their pigs until a vet intervened as the pigs were getting too fat.
The NPA has explained that there is an understanding of the temptation for people to feed waste food to pigs, but has said that for good reasons it is actually illegal to feed catering waste, kitchen scraps, meat or meat products to farmed animals.
The 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak was officially linked to the feeding of swill containing infected meat to pigs in a farm in Northumberland.
Before that, an outbreak of Classical Swine Fever (CSF) in 2000 was thought to have originated when a pig kept outdoors ate a discarded ham sandwich.
African Swine Fever (ASF) is currently causing devastation in a number of Eastern European countries, recently leaping west to reach the Czech Republic and Romania for the first time.
Affecting commercial farms, backyard farms and wild boar, some recent outbreaks, notably in the Czech Republic, have been linked to human spread via infected meat.
The European Commission has also issued a warning that the spread of ASF poses a ‘serious risk to the European pig meat market’, while in the UK, the Animal Plant and Health Agency’s (APHA) pig division has singled out ASF as its biggest exotic disease concern.
NPA chief executive, Zoe Davies, said: “We simply cannot stress enough the risk posed to the pig industry by the feeding of waste food to pigs.
“The reality is that this is the most likely route for devastating diseases like ASF to get into our domestic pig population. An outbreak of ASF, or other diseases circulating around the world like FMD or CSF, would be catastrophic for the pig industry and the wider farming community.”