South Africa has reported seventeen (17) outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) outside of the ASF controlled area since the beginning of April 2019 in the North West, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Free State Provinces.
The main indication of the disease is that large numbers of pigs are found dead. Other signs include that pigs may also stop eating, are listless and show breathing difficulties; display redness on the skin, especially the ears and abdomen and may even have bleeding from the nose and rectum.
Biosecurity is the only way to prevent ASF affecting your pigs:
- Only buy pigs from confirmed healthy herds: auctions are a mixture of multiple pigs of unknown origin and therefore a high risk––avoid visiting and buying from auctions
- Confine pigs so that they cannot come into contact with other pigs and possible infected material (kitchen waste and carcases)
- Avoid feeding swill (left overs or kitchen waste); if this is not possible, ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly to inactivate the virus (the virus can remain infectious in meat for months); the added benefit to this is that you will be destroying other diseases with the cooking such as measles, Foot-and-mouth disease, pseudorabies, etc.
- Avoid allowing people/vehicles/equipment onto your farm as they may have been in contact with other pigs or infectious material.
Be vigilant and report any pig deaths to the nearest State Veterinary Office.
The current outbreak of ASF in pigs in South Africa does not pose any threat to human health and the consumption of pork and pork products is safe.