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African Swine Fever update

Following an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) reported in North-West province beginning of April 2019, two more outbreaks were identified outside of the ASF-controlled area of South Africa. These two outbreaks occurred in relatively close proximity to Delmas, Mpumalanga and in Daveyton, Gauteng.

Samples were confirmed positive for ASF and the outbreaks were reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on 18 April 2019 (Mpumalanga) and 25 April 2019 (Gauteng). According to the results from the laboratory, the same virus is responsible for the three outbreaks in North-West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

The affected areas have been placed under quarantine and Provincial Veterinary Services are applying the necessary disease control measures. Veterinary services together with the industry are conducting follow-up investigations to trace the origin of the disease and to identify other farms that may possibly be affected.

ASF does not affect humans and the consumption of pork is safe. However, any meat and products from affected pigs can be a source of infection to other pigs. Farmers should, therefore, ensure that, if any swill is fed to pigs, the swill must be pre-cooked for at least an hour. This will ensure the inactivation of the ASF virus, as well as other diseases of concern.

Quick facts about ASF

• Prevention is better than cure!
• There is no vaccine for ASF.
• There is no treatment for affected pigs.
• It kills almost all infected pigs.

The disease is transmitted by:

• Contact with infected wild or domestic pigs.
• Ingestion of contaminated material (e.g. food waste, feed, or garbage).
• Contaminated fomites (people, vehicles, equipment, shoes).
• Biological vectors (soft ticks).

How you can prevent infection:

Make sure you buy pigs only from reputable owners and insist on a health attestation by their veterinarian on the health status of the farm.
If pigs are bought on auction, farmers are advised to insist on a declaration from the seller of the pigs, to confirm that they come from a healthy herd.

Enclose your pigs to prevent contact with pigs of unknown health status, including wild pigs and warthogs.
Preferably do not feed kitchen waste, but if you have no option, remove all meats and cook the kitchen waste thoroughly.

Farmers are again requested to be vigilant and to report any sudden illness and deaths of their pigs to the local state veterinarian. For technical enquiries kindly contact Dr Mpho Maja via email on az.vog.ffad@ajaM.ohpM or 012 319 7615.


AgriOrbit is a product of Centurion-based agricultural magazine publisher Plaas Media. Plaas Media is an independent agricultural media house. It is the only South African agricultural media house to offer a true 360-degree media offering to role-players in agriculture. Its entire portfolio is based on sound content of a scientific and semi-scientific nature.
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