Pig owners warned of African swine fever on pigs


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THE department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries urged pig owners to be vigilant following a suspected African Swine Fever disease outbreak.

Department spokesperson, Makenosi Maroo said the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI) confirmed two separate cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) which was communal set up in Ipelegeng Township near Schweizer Reneke and on a farm near Koffiefontein in the Free State last week Friday.

“In both cases a large number of pigs started showing signs suspicious of the disease. The vets were called out to investigate and samples were collected and submitted to the ARC OVI. African swine fever is always on the top of the suspect list and two cases seem likely not to be related.

“The department urge pig owners to be very vigilant, particularly in areas surrounding the affected areas. Contact between wild pigs and domestic pigs should be avoided as the disease readily transmits between infected pigs. Feeding of swill is prohibited by the Animal Diseases Act unless it is cooked to kill all bacteria and viruses that may be transmitted to pigs,” Maroo said.

She further highlighted that domestic pigs were highly susceptible.

Maroo said that most of the infected pigs will show severe haemorrhagic symptoms and will die soon after contracting ASF.

“A small proportion of animals may survive. They will carry the ASF virus for a few months without any signs of disease but with the ability to infect in-contact pigs.

“Control measures in the ASF control zone aim to prevent contact between warthog and domestic pigs to prevent the disease from circulating in the domestic pig population,” she added.”

Maroo added: “If the disease gets into the wild pig population, we may end up with an endemic situation being created. This will result in outbreaks being reported periodically and affecting trade of pigs and pig products from the country.”

More than 100 pigs were reported dead at Schweizer Reneke in Mamusa local municipality after being affected by African swine fever.

-TDN

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