General News of Friday, 6 September 2019
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and the Effia Kwesiminstim Municipality have been hit with an outbreak of the Africa Swine Fever.
The fever is suspected to have affected the government allocated pigs under the Rearing for Food and Jobs programme.
This was captured in a letter addressed to the Minister of Agriculture by the Western Regional Agriculture Directorate and sighted by citinewsroom.com.
“Under the Rearing for Food and Jobs, Western Region has been allocated pigs but because of this outbreak as ASF we wish to appeal for a replacement of sheep and goats to Western Region since it will take a long time to eradicate the disease in the region.”
The letter said samples of the dead pigs sent to the National Veterinary Laboratory for analysis tested positive for the fever.
The Western Regional Agric Director, Samuel Apiiga, confirmed the outbreak to Citi News and added that it is under control but refused to give further details on the subject since the letter was yet to reach the Ministry.
The last outbreak of the fever was in the Central Region last year.
The Central Regional Veterinary Services Department had to place a ban on the movement of pigs and piggery products in the region.
In July 2017, outbreaks of the fever were confirmed in the Ashanti and Upper East Regions, which led to the destruction of over 15,000 pigs.
About the African Swine Fever
African Swine Fever is a severe viral disease that affects only pigs. It can be spread by live or dead pigs and pork products.
Transmission can also occur via contaminated feed and items such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives, equipment etc, due to the high environmental resistance of ASF virus.
There is no approved vaccine against ASF unlike classical swine fever, also known as Hog Cholera, which is caused by a different virus.
Mortality is usually close to 100 percent and pigs of all ages are affected, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Historically, outbreaks have been reported in Africa and parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.
Since 2007, the disease has been reported in multiple countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, in both domestic and wild pigs.
African swine fever was first detected on the African continent in 2012.