An outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) has been reported in the Northern Cape Province in the Springbok area after movement of pigs from the Kimberley area. This falls outside of the ASF controlled areas of the country.
The Northern Cape Provincial Veterinary Services are doing follow-up investigations and control measures are being applied for this outbreak. African swine fever is a severe haemorrhagic disease and pigs become sick at a rapid pace and the disease can result in a great number of deaths of pigs in a short span of time.
Severe cases of the disease are characterised by high fever where pigs die quickly within two to ten days. The death rate can be as high as 100% and the disease spreads quickly between pigs. Other clinical signs may include abortion in pregnant sows, lack of appetite, depression, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, bleeding from the nose or rectum, diarrhoea and redness of the skin of the ears, abdomen and legs.
Some forms of the virus produce less intense diseases, though the death rate can still range from 30% to 70%. Chronic disease symptoms include loss of weight, intermittent fever, respiratory difficulties, chronic skin ulcers and arthritis. ASF does not affect humans. The disease is transmitted by contact with infected pigs/ticks or through feeding of infected swill.
Farmers and speculators are advised to only buy pigs that come from a healthy herd and avoid buying from unknown suppliers at auctions. Under no circumstances should swill (kitchen waste) be fed to pigs unless it has been boiled for an hour in order to inactivate the ASF virus and other diseases of concern. Thus, pig keepers throughout South Africa are advised to be extremely careful as to where they buy pigs and what they feed pigs as this disease can be devastating to their herd. Any signs of illness should be reported to the local State Veterinary office immediately so that swift action can be initiated to prevent further spread of the disease. – Press release