Northern Ireland pig farmers warned over kitchen scraps disease threat
Pig keepers in Northern Ireland have been warned not to feed kitchen scraps to their animals to prevent outbreaks of disease.
It comes after an increase in the risk level of African Swine Fever (ASF) entering the UK, following spread of the disease in Eastern and Central Europe.
There has never been a case of ASF in the UK and while it does not affect humans, it is potentially fatal to pigs.
Experts say if the disease were to reach the UK it could have a devastating effect on export markets and would also require the humane culling of pigs on infected premises to prevent further spread.
Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer Robert Huey warned: "The introduction of African Swine Fever would have an enormous impact on our pig industry.
"No matter how many pigs you keep, you need to be aware of the potential consequences of feeding waste food to your animals.
"Not only is it illegal, but you run the risk of spreading disease which could be fatal to your livestock."