East Anglian pig farmers could find themselves out of pocket after many failed to insure themselves against swine fever, said an NFU Mutual spokesperson.

Some 12,000 pigs have been slaughtered so far in the region following the outbreak of the disease and the European Commission has banned the export of live pigs from England.

But many farmers had relinquished cover because the disease last reappeared more than 14 years ago.

A spokesman for NFU Mutual said it had yet to receive a claim from farmers in the region who have swine fever cover.

He added: “I have spoken to our Anglia division and I am told that most pig farmers no longer have swine fever cover because it was virtually eliminated and with the decline in the industry they have not reinsured for swine fever.”