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African Swine Fever outbreak in Northern Cape

Jun 1, 2018
African Swine Fever outbreak in Northern Cape

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Thursday confirmed the outbreak of African Swine Fever in the Northern Cape.

“An outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) has been reported in the Northern Cape Province in the Springbok area after movement of pigs from the Kimberley area. This falls outside of the ASF controlled areas of the country,” said the department.

African swine fever is a severe haemorrhagic disease of pigs. Pigs become sick at a rapid pace and the disease can result in a great number of deaths in pigs in a short space of time. Humans are not susceptible to the African Swine Fever virus.

Meanwhile, the Northern Cape Provincial Veterinary Services are doing follow-up investigations and control measures are being applied for this outbreak.

The department said severe cases of the disease are characterised by high fever where pigs die quickly within two to ten days.

“Deaths can be as high as 100% and the disease spreads quickly between contacted pigs. Other clinical signs may include: abortion in pregnant sows, pigs that don’t want to eat, depression, difficulty breathing, vom­iting, bleeding from the nose or rectum, diarrhoea and red­ness of the skin of the ears, abdomen and legs,” noted the department.

The disease is transmitted by contact with infected pigs/ticks or through feeding of infected swill.

The department advised farmers and speculators to only buy pigs that come from a healthy herd and avoid buying from unknown suppliers at auctions.

“Under no circumstances should swill (kitchen waste) be fed to pigs unless it has been boiled for an hour in order to inactivate the ASF virus and other diseases of concern.

“Thus pig keepers throughout South Africa are advised to be extremely careful as to where they buy pigs and what they feed pigs as this disease can be devastating to their herd.”

Any signs of illness should be reported to the local State Veterinary office immediately so that swift action can be initiated to prevent further spread of the disease. – SAnews.gov.za