African Swine Fever outbreak at North West farm

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The North West Provincial Veterinary Services has placed a farm in the province under quarantine following an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF).

The World Organisation for Animal Health on Wednesday reported an outbreak of African Swine Fever in the Zeerust area, just outside of the African Swine Fever controlled area of South Africa.  

The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries said the farm has been placed under quarantine by the provincial veterinary services, who are also doing follow-up investigations and applying disease control measures for this outbreak. 

“The virus is endemic in wildlife in the ASF controlled area and specific measures for keeping pigs in this area are described in the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No. 35 of 1984), which also includes restrictions on the movement of pigs and pig products from this area,” the department said.

African Swine Fever is a severe disease in pigs which can cause pigs to become sick very fast and can result in the death of large numbers of pigs in a very short time period. African Swine Fever does not affect humans in any way.

The disease is transmitted by contact with infected pigs or warthogs carrying infected ticks (tampans) from the endemic area. The feeding of infected kitchen waste can also transmit the disease.

“In order to prevent infection of pigs, farmers are advised to keep pigs in enclosures/camps that are warthog-proof. It is also important to only buy pigs that come from a healthy herd and not to buy pigs of an unknown health status.

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

It advised pig keepers throughout South Africa to be extremely careful as to where they buy pigs, how they keep pigs and what they feed pigs, as this disease can be devastating to their herd. –