Suspected case of swine fever in Denmark

DENMARK - Danish Crown’s slaughterhouse in Blans in Denmark was shut down on Wednesday after a suspected case of swine fever. The pig in question was supplied by a farmer on the same day from the southern part of Vejle County.
calendar icon 25 September 2003
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The pig was dead on arrival at the slaughterhouse where a vet confirmed that the pig showed some symptoms of swine fever. As a detailed examination of the animal also indicated swine fever in the pig’s inner organs, the authorities decided to close the slaughterhouse.

On some previous occasions, including this year, Danish Crown has been hit by swine fever scares only to have them disproved one hour later after the suspected pig had been thoroughly examined. Although in the current case, a range of symptoms indicate swine fever, the symptoms can also indicate other diseases, so hopes are that this is a false alarm. This has often been seen in other countries.

The dead pig and tests from its herd are currently being analysed. The results are expected to be available within 30-48 hours.

The pig comes from a breeder who supplies 50-60 pigs per week and whose herd has now been quarantined.

A range of special measures have been introduced at the slaughterhouse, including baths and special disinfection of footwear before employees leave the slaughterhouse after work. Each employee has also been given detailed information about avoiding spreading potential infection from the slaughterhouse.

In view of the situation, employees on the killing floor and in the lairage area have been laid off until the situation becomes clearer. Other employees continue to debone slaughtered pigs.

Swine fever is a contagious disease which causes a high level of mortality among the infected animals. The disease, however, poses no risk to humans and the meat does not constitute any food safety risk to consumers.

Following analyses of samples from the herd, the veterinary authorities have been unable to establish clinical symptoms of swine fever from other animals in the herd. This points towards that, as in previous cases, this is a false alarm.

Source: Danish Crown - 25th September 2003

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