African swine fever outbreak reported in Eastern Cape

Picture: iStock

About 50 pigs have perished in the Amathole District. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is reportedly investigating, and has quarantined the village.

The first outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in three years has been reported in the Eastern Cape’s Amathole District, according to eNCA

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is reportedly investigating, and is performing post-mortems in areas where pigs have perished. At present, about 50 pigs have died. 

In addition, areas where ASF is suspected have been quarantined. 

ASF hit the North West, Gauteng, the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces last year. There is no vaccine for ASF.

The disease only affects pigs, and is not harmful to humans. But ASF kills almost every pig that comes into contact with it, and is very contagious.

ASF is transmitted by healthy pigs coming into contact with infected ones, ingesting contaminated material, contaminated fomites (people, vehicles, equipment and shoes), and biological vectors, in this case, soft ticks.

Farmers are therefore urged to pre-cook their pigs’ swill for at least an hour before feeding them. 

(Compiled by Nica Richards)

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