17 April 2013

Tanzania: Swine Fever Spreads to More Regions

THE government has deployed experts in regions reportedly hit by the African Swine Fever (ASF) to study the magnitude of the problem and take relevant action.

The Minister for Livestock Development and Fisheries, Dr Mathayo David Mathayo, told the 'Daily News' on Tuesday that the government was aware of the disease and urged farmers to take care of their livestock. He confirmed that SFA outbreak has already been reported in Sumbawanga District in Rukwa Region, some parts of Iringa and Ludewa and Kyela districts.

"We have deployed experts in those areas to study the situation and furnish us with reports for more action. We hope by end of this week we will be in the full picture of what to do to contain the situation," he said. He said the team would closely work with district livestock development officers in the affected areas and act accordingly depending on the magnitude of the problem.

Contacted for updates particularly the economic impact of the problem, the Rukwa Regional Commissioner, Eng. Stella Manyanya said since January, this year, over 4,884 pigs with estimated value of 1.4bn/- have perished. The RC said most the affected areas include the Sumbawanga Municipality, Sumbawanga Rural and Kalambo districts.

However, she cautioned that the quarantine should be intensified to avoid further spread of the disease. He cautioned people to abide to instructions given by experts in the wake of the outbreak of diseases to avoid catastrophes.

Meanwhile, Peti Siyame reports from Sumbawanga that despite the Sumbawanga District Council ban on all businesses involving selling and eating pork following the outbreak of swine fever, people continue with the trade secretly. Some people told the 'Daily News' that a carcass of pig was now selling at between 50,000/- and 70,000/- depending on the size of the animal, while a live one used to sell at around 200,000/-.

The African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs that produces a wide range of clinical signs and lesions that closely resemble those of classical swine fever. The prolonged period during which ASF has been an enzootic disease in Africa has led to the selection of viruses of varying virulence.

There is no treatment and all attempts to develop a vaccine have been unsuccessful. Prevention depends on ensuring that neither infected live pigs nor pig meat products are introduced into areas free of ASF.

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