Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, announced today that African Swine Fever (ASF) was identified on two smallholder farms in Mfuleni, Eerste River in the Western Cape.
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.
Dr Meyer announced that a ban had been placed on the sale and movement of live pigs from Mfuleni to limit the disease’s spread. He also confirmed that there is no danger of the disease infecting humans.
Minister Meyer: “I urge pig farmers to ensure they only purchase pigs from farms with a proven clean health history. Farmers must practice good hygiene management practices on their farms to minimize the risk of disease introduction or spread of the disease through good biosecurity measures.”
According to Dr Gininda Msiza, Head of Veterinary Services with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services, the virus can be spread via any part of a raw pig carcass.
Msiza “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.”
Minister Meyer: “A survey to determine the extent of the disease’s spread in Mfuleni and the immediate surrounding area had already been initiated and will include the collection of blood samples from selected sick pigs from suspect farms within the affected area.”
Msiza continues: “It is, however, important to determine the origin of the causative virus. We have therefore submitted samples to ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute to determine the genotype and hence maybe the 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,” concluded Meyer.
For further inquiries contact Dr. Gin Msiza on 084 604 6705, email: ginindaM@elsenburg.com