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Friday, 28 January 2022 13:03

Western Cape moves to contain spread of deadly African swine fever.

Staff Reporter.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture's State Veterinary Services has issued a quarantine notice to pig farmers in Thembalethu, Southern Cape, following laboratory results confirming African Swine Fever (ASF) in the area.

African Swine Fever was also detected in KwaNonqaba outside Mossel Bay earlier this month.

Western Cape Agriculture MEC, Ivan Meyer, said the quarantine notice urges community members and pig farmers not to remove any pigs or pig products from the area to prevent further spreading of the disease.

Meyer urged pig farmers to practise good biosecurity measures to ensure animal health and safety.

"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.

The MEC also commended affected farmers for minimising the possible negative impact on trade within the region and sensitising pig farmers in other parts of the Southern Cape.

"This will help to limit the spread of the disease. My department will continue to monitor the situation.

"In addition, our State Veterinary Services will provide the necessary advisory services to prevent the further spread of the disease," Meyer said.

Head of Veterinary Services, Dr Gininda Msiza, said the only avenue available to protect pigs is establishing a set of measures to reduce the risk of further spreading the disease.

"Carcasses should be disposed of safely. Pigs should be confined to prevent roaming and potentially the pick-up and spread of the disease. Hands, shoes, clothing, and equipment must be sanitised before and after contact with pigs, and meat products should be thoroughly cooked before being fed to pigs," Msiza said.