African swine fever

African swine fever (ASF), a virus that affects pigs and wild boar, has been identified in Belgium.

Focus must be on ensuring ASF does not spread further. We urge all pig producers to ensure their biosecurity is tight, particularly vehicles, animals and people coming onto their units.

We need all pig producers, farmers and the public to pull together to keep this disease out. 

Spotting African swine fever (ASF)

With high-virulence forms of the virus, ASF is characterised by:

  • high fever
  • loss of appetite
  • haemorrhages in the skin and internal organs
  • death in 2-10 days on average


All age groups are equally susceptible. Mortality rates may be as high as 100%. There has never been an outbreak of African swine fever in Great Britain.

African swine fever is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect it, you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. Failure to do so is an offence.


What you can do today

  • Make sure you and your staff are aware of, and adhere to, your farm biosecurity protocol. For guidance on biosecurity visit AHDB Pork's website
  • Ensure good biosecurity throughout the entire supply chain is the first line of defence against exotic and emerging diseases, including ASF and PEDv
  • Ensure all staff have your veterinary surgeon's telephone number, as well as the Defra Rural Services Helpline (Tel: 03000 200 301) should you suspect a case of ASF
  • Make a contingency plan in case movements become restricted. Practical guidance and additional resources on the actions to be taken in the event of interruption to pig movements off farm can be found here.

How to protect domestic pigs from infection

EFSA’s new practical guide provides a video summary of what ASF is and how to protect domestic pigs from infection.

Resources and posters

Focus must be on ensuring ASF does not spread further. We urge all pig producers to ensure their biosecurity is tight...