African swine fever is a viral infection of domestic and feral pigs (wild boar). It is a notifiable disease.

First published:
14 November 2018
Last updated:

Suspicion and confirmation

Contact your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office immediately on 0300 303 8268 if you suspect African swine fever.

APHA vets will investigate suspected cases.

Clinical signs

The symptoms of African swine fever and Classical swine fever are almost identical. They may occur in chronic or acute form:

  • constipation followed by diarrhoea
  • gummed-up eyes
  • coughing
  • blotchy discolouration of the skin
  • abortion, stillbirths and weak litters
  • weakness of hindquarters
  • nervous signs, including convulsions and tremors in newborn piglets

Transmission and prevention

The virus may be transmitted by soft bodied ticks. The disease can be spread by:

  • movement of infected pigs
  • movement of contaminated vehicles, clothing, footwear and equipment
  • pigs consuming contaminated pork or pork production

Keepers are reminded that it is illegal to feed kitchen waste of any description to pigs in the UK.

Biosecurity advice

You can help prevent the disease by keeping your premises biosecure. To ensure high levels of biosecurity, pig keepers should:

  • report suspicion of the disease immediately
  • minimise movement of animals, people, equipment and people on and off the premises
  • source and buy pigs from reputable sources
  • be aware of the disease risks when importing live pigs or pig products
  • quarantine incoming pigs and house them in isolation away from the main herd
  • avoid unnecessary visitors to your farm
  • cleanse and disinfect all vehicles used to transport pigs
  • check pigs once a day for signs of illness
  • not feed kitchen waste to pigs
  • use netting and bait traps to keep rodents, birds and flies out of buildings where pigs are housed
  • prevent access to dead stock by dogs, cats and vermin
  • avoid using the same staff or equipment across more than one premises - if it can't be avoided, cleanse and disinfect thoroughly.

Great Britain disease control strategy