African Swine Fever hits Delmas

2019-05-02 20:49

African Swine Fever (ASF) has broken out among pigs in Delmas, Mpumalanga, according to national Department of Health animal health director Mpho Maja.

The outbreak was detected over the weekend when farmers noticed that some of their animals showed signs of the disease.

Signs of the disease are, among others, fever, loss of appetite, lack of energy, vomiting, diarrhoea, swollen red eyes, laboured breathing, coughing and sudden death, according to the department.

The Department of Agriculture said numerous staff members based in or near Delmas were called in to assist with the inspection of piggeries and subsistence farmers.

Currently, the SA Police Service's (SAPS) stock theft units, the Department of Health and state veterinarians are assisting the Department of Agriculture with inspections and the testing of pigs in the area. The biggest danger for pig farmers is that there is no vaccination for ASF.

Tests and the screening of pigs are done at no cost to the pig owner.

However, owners will also not be allowed to transport or sell pigs, either privately or at an auction, until the disease is under control. After screening is done and the disease is confirmed, the infected animals will be separated from the healthy stock. The infected animals would usually be culled.

The affected premises will have to be cleaned and disinfected before healthy animals are allow back into the holding pens or camps.

Although ASF is contagious for humans it is not contracted often. People and workers who have constant contact with pigs are at a higher risk, says the department.

Farmers in Delmas area can report signs of the decease to the department’s office in Delmas on 060 978 8065 or 013 665 2011.

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