How to spot classical swine fever, what to do if you suspect it, and measures to prevent its spread.
Applies to England, Scotland and Wales
Classical swine fever affects pigs.
It is not known to affect humans.
The last outbreak in Great Britain was in 2000.
Classical swine fever should not be confused with swine flu which is a different disease.
Classical 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. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.
How to spot classical swine fever
The signs of classical swine fever are very similar to African swine fever.
The main clinical signs are:
- loss of appetite
- lack of energy
- sudden death with few signs beforehand
Other signs can include:
- red or dark skin, particularly on the ears and snout
- swollen red eyes
- laboured breathing and coughing
- abortions, still-births and weak litters
- nervous signs, eg convulsions and tremors in newborn piglets
There are several different strains of classical swine fever.
Pigs infected with mild strains may not become ill or show clinical signs.
Severe strains of the disease are generally fatal.
How classical swine fever is spread
Classical swine fever is very contagious. It can spread by:
- pigs eating infectious meat or meat products
- contact with infected pigs or their faeces or body fluids
- contact from infected sows to their piglets
- contact with anything contaminated with the virus including:
- people and their clothing
- vehicles and other equipment
Preventing and controlling classical swine fever
You can help prevent the disease by practising strict biosecurity on your premises.
If you report suspicion of classical swine fever, APHA vets will investigate.
Further information on prevention and control
Legislation relating to classical swine fever
The Diseases of Swine Regulations 2014 implement EU Directive 2001/89/EC for the control of CSF.