16 February 2019

Zimbabwe: African Swine Fever Outbreak Hits Zimbabwe

The country has been hit by African Swine Fever (ASF) which has already caused the death of 156 pigs in Nyakomba and Nyamaropa areas in Manicaland.

Government has since moved in to curb the spread of the transboundary animal disease that is highly contagious and can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild pigs and pork products.

A quarantine has been imposed on Nyanga District and the movement of live pigs and pig products into and out of the area have been banned to avoid the spread of the disease to other areas.

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement director for the Department of Veterinary Service, Dr Josphat Nyika, yesterday confirmed the outbreak of the fever.

"An outbreak of African Swine Fever in free-range pigs in the Nyamaropa and Nyamakomba areas of Nyanga North has been reported, with post mortem results confirming the ASF virus," he said.

"The department received reports of unusually high number of deaths in pigs from farmers in Nyanga North. Investigations by the DVS revealed that pigs started dying during the last week of January. To date, 156 deaths have been recorded out of the estimated 678 pigs."

Dr Nyika said the department had already initiated control measures to curb the spread of the disease to other parts of the country, while at the same time continuing with disease surveillance to determine the extent of the problem.

"Staff on the ground, in collaboration with local leadership and members of the dip tank livestock development committees, have started awareness campaigns in the affected villages," he said.

"A quarantine has been imposed on Nyanga District and movement of live pigs and pig products into and out of the area is prohibited.

"Farmers have been advised to confine their pigs in their pigsties. Farmers should report all ill and dead animals to their local DVS office."

Dr Nyika said resource mobilisation to set up at least two road blocks along the two major roads leaving the Nyakomba and Nyamaropa areas were underway.

"The Pig Industry Board, Pig Producers Association of Zimbabwe, pig farmers and other relevant stakeholders are advised to intensify bio-security measures around their pig establishments and help with countrywide ASF awareness campaigns," he said.

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