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Swine Influenza - 27 April 2009

NZPork is carefully monitoring the situation regarding the new strain of H1N1 influenza virus, called swine flu.

Pork is safe to eat

The World Health Organisation has confirmed that it is safe to eat all pork and pork meat products. For cooking instructions see NZPork’s website http://www.pork.co.nz/Recipes/CookingTimes.aspx

Managing the risk to the New Zealand pork producing industry

The H1N1 virus is called swine influenza because it probably originated in pigs. However it is a new strain of the influenza A virus involving components of swine, avian and human influenza. It is a human health risk because it is being transmitted from human to human, and does not appear to involve pigs at all.

There has never been a case of swine influenza in pigs in New Zealand. However NZPork, in collaboration with MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) is taking all precautions to ensure that potential transmission pathways from humans to pigs are controlled.

We are therefore reminding all pork producers to maintain effective farm biosecurity, particularly around visitor access to farms and pigs. We are reminding pork producers to be vigilant around disinfecting and cleaning procedures when people enter and leave a farm, to ensure staff do not work with pigs if they have flu-like symptoms, and to raise any unusual pig health issues with their veterinary adviser immediately. Similarly we are asking the industry’s veterinary advisers to maintain their vigilance around unusual pig health issues. We are publicising this advice on both New Zealand Pork’s and MAFBNZ’s website, and also asking the commercial industry and its advisers to pass on this message to all owners of pigs.

Symptoms of swine influenza in pigs

Symptoms of swine influenza in pigs include sudden onset of fever, depression, coughing (barking), discharge from the nose or eyes, sneezing, breathing difficulties, eye redness or inflammation, and loss of appetite.


ENDS

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