11 June 2017

Tanzania: Govt Bans Pig Importation, to Curb Swine Disease

The government has banned, for one year, importation of live swine and its products following an outbreak of Africa Swine Fever (ASF) which has hit some regions in the country.

The move is aimed at containing the spread of the disease.

So far, some regions have been hit by the disease, a move which forced the government to announce a special quarantine as a means to prevent it from spreading.

The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr William Ole Nasha, told this paper in a telephone interview, yesterday, that due to the outbreak, the affected areas have been quarantined.

He named some of the affected regions as Mbeya, Rukwa, Dodoma, Dar es Salaam and Kibaha in the Coast Region.

"We have decided to take precautions to prevent further spread of the Africa Swine Fever, thus those areas identified with the disease are on quarantine as well as banning importation of live swine and its products," said Mr Ole Nasha.

He said that much as banning importation, we have as well, prohibited, transportation of live swine and its products from the locally affected areas.

He however, pointed out that the disease is more of concern because it possesses neither vaccine nor cure; therefore the current measure is to prevent more spread.

"Upon, discovery that some of your animals have been affected, you should isolate them and disinfect the areas with V-RID to prevent contamination," he said.

The Deputy Minister noted that veterinary officers are imparting knowledge on how the disease should be managed.

In another development, Dodoma Municipal Council has banned any business operations related to pigs and pork meat until further notice.

According to a statement issued by the Municipal Council's Communications Officer, Mr Ramadhan Juma, such a move comes following the death of 285 pigs in Miyuji and Ipagala wards in the region.

"Pigs and all animals of the same nature will not be allowed to move from one area to anoth-er without authorisation from the Dodoma Municipal Council Director's office," noted Mr Juma.

He emphasized besides the animals, movement of related products will also not be allowed.

The African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) is the causative of ASF. It leads to haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in pigs.

ASFV is a large, double-stranded DNA virus which repli-cates in the cytoplasm of infected cells, and is the only member of the Asfarviridae family.

ASFV infects domestic pigs, warthogs and bushpigs as well as soft ticks (Ornithodoros), which likely act as a vector.

The virus causes a lethal haemorraghic disease in domestic pigs.

It is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. The disease was first discovered after European settlers brought pigs into areas endemic with ASFV.

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