Ban on pig sales in Western Cape as African Swine Fever detected at two Cape Town farms

A type of swine flu has been detected at Cape Town farms.
  • African Swine Fever was identified on two farms in the Western Cape.
  • This was announced on Thursday by WC MEC of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer.
  • Meyer has announced a ban on the sale and movement of live pigs from Mfuleni to limit the spread of the disease.

African Swine Fever (ASF) has been identified on two smallholder farms in Mfuleni, Eerste River in Cape Town, Western Cape Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said on Thursday.

Meyer said this was confirmed by the postmortem samples submitted to the ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute.

"This finding follows the intensive investigation conducted by the veterinary services of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to determine the cause of the pigs dying in the area over the last two weeks," he said in a statement.

As a result, Meyer announced a ban placed on the sale and movement of live pigs from Mfuleni to limit the disease's spread. 

He believed there was no danger of the disease infecting humans.

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"I urge pig farmers to ensure they only purchase pigs from farms with a proven clean health history. 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," Meyer said.

Head of Veterinary Services with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services, Dr Gininda Msiza explained that the virus could be spread via any part of a raw pig carcass.


"This is the first time ASF has been diagnosed in the Western Cape province following recent outbreaks in the Free State, Eastern Cape province and Gauteng. Therefore, any dead pigs must be disposed of effectively, and no pig waste should be fed to other pigs," Msiza said.

Meyer added that a survey had been initiated to determine the extent of the disease's spread in Mfuleni.

This would include the collection of blood samples from selected sick pigs from suspect farms within the affected area.

To determine the origin of the causative virus, Msiza said the department had submitted samples to ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute to determine the genotype and source of the infection.

"I want to thank those affected farmers for minimising the possible negative impact on trade and sensitising pig farmers in other Western Cape areas. This will help to limit the spread of disease," Meyer concluded.