Agriculture

Western Cape agriculture to host African swine fever information in Southern Cape

Earlier this month, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Minister Ivan Meyer announced the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Southern Cape, one in KwaNonqaba, Mossel Bay and the other in Thembalethu, George.

Since then, Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) veterinary officials who have been working tirelessly to assist the affected smallholder farmers and prevent the further spread of the disease estimate that about 240 pigs have died as a result of ASF in these areas.

Both areas have been placed under quarantine.

Meyer said the quarantine means that pigs or pig products may not be moved out of these areas without a permit issued by the local state veterinary office and that carcasses need to be disposed of responsibly. To this end, local municipalities have provided burial sites and disinfectants.

There is no effective vaccine available to prevent ASF.

“For this reason, I appeal to farmers to continue to implement effective biosecurity measures. This entails keeping pigs confined to avoid contact with other pigs and humans sanitising their hands, shoes, clothing and equipment before and after contact with pigs or pig products. In addition, if any meat products are fed to pigs, they must be thoroughly cooked to inactivate the virus.

“I am grateful to Mossel Bay local municipality and their Incident Working Group for the assistance with disinfection and the disposal of carcasses. Mossel Bay SPCA also plays a critical role through their daily checks to ensure that dying pigs are euthanised humanely,” he said.

Officials from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinary Services and the Agricultural Producers’ Support and Development Programmes will host farmer information days over the next three days. Officials will be joined by the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation. The aim is to provide information and create awareness on ASF, biosecurity, and general pig farming questions

The information days will occur on 7 February in Mossel Bay, 8 February in Thembalethu, George, and 9 February in Kwanokuthula, Plettenberg Bay.

For further enquiries, contact Dr Gininda Msiza on 0846046705, email: ginindaM@elsenburg.com  or  Dr Leana Janse van Rensburg, State Veterinarian: George on (044) 803 3771/083 797 0010, Email: LeanaJvR@elsenburg.com

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