During last week it was reported that more than 75 pigs died in Mossel Bay with an unknown number of pigs also affected in George. And on Thursday, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture confirmed that African Swine Fever (ASF) had been detected in George.
According to a report, ASF was detected in Thembalethu in George and also in KwaNonqaba outside Mossel Bay.
“Following the laboratory confirmation that African Swine Fever (ASF) has been detected in Thembalethu, George in the Southern Cape, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinary Services had served a quarantine notice on pig farmers in the area,” Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer said.
Community members are urged to quarantine the pigs
Meyer further added that all community members and pig farmers should take the quarantine notice seriously and not remove any pigs or pig products from the areas. This will help to prevent any ASF to spread further.
He also urged pig farmers to “practice good biosecurity measures” for the animal’s health and safety.
“Farmers must practise good hygiene management practices on their farms to minimise the risk of disease introduction or spread of the disease through good biosecurity measures.”
The Head of Veterinary Services, Dr Gininda Msiza, said that the only way to protect the pigs now is by having measures set in place that will reduce ASF spreading.
“Carcasses should be disposed of safely, pigs should be confined to prevent roaming and potentially the pick-up and spread of the disease.
“Hands, shoes, clothing, and equipment must be sanitised before and after contact with pigs, and meat products should be thoroughly cooked before being fed to pigs,” said Msiza.
African Swine Fever does not affect people
ASF is a viral disease of pigs and is highly contagious. ASF is different from swine flu and does not have an impact on human health but does result in “high mortality” in pigs.
In the case that you are worried about ASF amongst animals, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
Clinical signs of ASF can occur in chronic, sub-acute and acute forms.
In the case of acute forms, pigs can develop temperatures up to 40.5°C and stop eating. Other symptoms include:
- Darkening of the skin – especially ears and snout
- Gummed up eyes
- Laboured breathing and coughing
- Abortion, still births and weak litters