Afrivet – African Swine Fever
On 28 March 2022, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) compiled the latest African swine fever outbreak and surveillance update report. DALRRD published that on 28 January 2022, the latest outbreak of ASF was reported in the Western Cape, bringing the total number of outbreaks in South Africa to a total number of 150 (86 open and 64 resolved). The most recent outbreaks were reported in the provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Free State.
African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease of wild- and domestic pigs of all age groups. It is important to note that African swine fever is not the same virus as Classical Swine Fever nor Swine Flu viruses. ASF is a global disease responsible for serious production and economic losses. The ASF virus spreads rapidly and can cause a mortality rate of up to 100%. Why is this disease feared globally you might ask? The reason is that there is no vaccine or treatment for this disease. However, the recent rapid spread to China, especially, has greatly increased the international focus on the disease. Probably one of the best resources to refer to when you need more information on infectious livestock diseases would be the world-renowned Anipedia – https://www.anipedia.org. Afrivet is proud to be a supportive affiliate of Anipedia.
The only way to keep this virus out of your piggery is by implementing and maintaining good biosecurity principles. Fortunately, Afrivet has a product that has proven 99,999% effective in assisting farmers in protecting animals from the most economically important livestock diseases including African swine fever, Avian Influenza and Foot and Mouth disease (which is also prevalent in South Africa as you read this). According to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), the disease is transmitted by contact with infected wild (usually asymptomatic carriers) or domestic pigs, indirect contact, through ingestion of contaminated material (e.g., food waste, feed, or garbage), contact with contaminated people, vehicles, or equipment.
The incubation period is 3-15 days, which is the time from when the animal is first exposed to the virus to when it starts showing clinical signs suggestive of ASF. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, high temperature (fever), not eating, red/purple discolouration of the skin around the ears, legs and lower part of the belly, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, difficulty breathing, abortions and a high mortality rate.
In South Africa, ASF is classified as a controlled disease, by the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act 35 of 1984). Therefore, if you are a vet or an owner who suspects ASF, based on clinical signs or the presence of high mortalities, you need to report this to your local state veterinarian immediately.
Dr Nadia de Beer is committed to the task of educating the public about the importance of biosecurity. “Farmers are urged to take responsibility and have the best biosecurity measures possible in place. It is important for each pig farmer to have good relationships with a private or state veterinarian and to report any abnormalities in the herd. It is important that all producers understand biosecurity principles and seek advice from the correct sources. Good biosecurity principles are the only way pig keepers can keep the dreaded disease out of their piggery.”
Dr Nadia de Beer
It is important that you know your “enemy”, this virus can stay viable in blood, faeces, and other tissues for long periods.
The producers need to know how to build their “fort”/piggery in order to keep the “enemy” out:
- Confining pigs to prevent contact with other domestic or wild pigs
- Source pigs from a reliable source.
- Controlled human and animal access that includes but is not limited to fences, gates, showers or changing facilities.
- Good disinfection protocol for vehicles and foot dips.
- Using a registered product is very important. (e.g. Afrivet’s A.C.T. LA Disinfectant is scientifically proven to eliminate up to 99,999% of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, protecting against African Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease and Avian Influenza.)
Reliable feed source – do not feed swill (No person should feed swill unless it has been safely cooked, which converts it into more nutritious animal feed).
Article Source: www.afrivet.co.za