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African Swine Fever Hits Free State, N West

Sleeping pig

The Agricultural Research Council Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (ARC OVI) has confirmed two separate cases of African Swine Fever on 9 June to Veterinary Services.

These cases are in one communal set up in Ipelegeng Township near Schweizer Reneke, in the North West and on a farm near Koffiefontein, in the Free State.

“In both cases a large number of pigs started showing signs suspicious of the disease and the vets were called out to investigate. Samples were collected and submitted to the ARC OVI since African Swine Fever is always on the top of the suspect list. The two cases seem likely not to be related,” the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said on Friday.

The department has urged 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,” the department said.

Domestic pigs are highly susceptible and most of the infected pigs will show severe haemorrhagic symptoms and will die soon after contracting ASF.

The department said a small proportion of animals may survive and 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.

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



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