Skip to main content
English Cymraeg
Wild Game guidance

Trichinella testing in Wild Boar and other species susceptible to Trichinosis

Trichinella is a parasite which can affect many animal species, including humans, causing a disease known as trichinosis.

Last updated: 25 July 2022
Last updated: 25 July 2022

People can become infected through eating raw, undercooked or processed meat from pigs, wild boar, horses or game that contain microscopic larval worms (known as ‘trichinae’) encysted in muscle tissue. In humans, symptoms associated with infection commonly include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and malaise. Disease progression may include fever, muscle pain and headaches. In severe cases vital organs may be affected possibly leading to meningitis, pneumonia or even death.

Wild boar will scavenge for food which might might be infected with Trichinella, there is a possibility that wild boar may become infected with Trichinella. Similarly, there is a possibility that other animals, including feral porcine species (for example, feral pigs), may become infected with Trichinella.

Wild boar accepted at AGHEs undergo mandatory trichinella testing as standard. If a sample tests positive for Trichinella, the testing laboratory will inform the FSA and the hunter. The carcase will then be traced and rejected as unfit for human consumption.  Link to FSA guidance for trichinella testing.

Best practice

Although not mandatory, it is best practice to test wild boar intended for own personal consumption or for supply directly to consumers or local retailers, to provide confidence in food safety. Hunters sampling wild boar should send the sample to an appropiate laboratory for testing. Containers for storing and transporting samples together with addressed, freepost envelopes for posting samples can be ordered prior to hunting free of charge from APHA.

APHA has developed guidance for hunters on trichinella testing in wild boar on the APHA website (PDF) that explains how samples should be taken from feral wild boar and details of how to get a sampling/sending kit prior to hunting.