MEDIA RELEASE: WCDOA AFRICAN SWINE FEVER (ASF) UPDATE
Date: 23 March 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) recently reported the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), diagnosed at properties in Mfuleni.
As prescribed by the Animal Diseases Act, Act 35 of 1984; the Provincial Veterinary Services immediately activated a contingency plan and initiated measures directed towards arresting and controlling the spread of infection.
The South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) and Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) continues to work closely with the Department in communicating and managing effective control of this disease.
Affected farmers were engaged and informed of facts concerning the diseases and also advised on the reasons for the interventions instituted. The WCDoA has officials assisting with the implementation of biosecurity measures and distribution of disinfectants and viricidal remedies to farmers. In line with international good practice for diseases control, 240 animals were target slaughtered with the assistance of the industry role-players. Culled animals were safely removed and disposed in a controlled manner to ensure that no further spread and environmental contamination occurs.
The pig Industry in the Western Cape is the second largest producer in South Africa with production growing at an average annual rate of 3.7% over the past 10 years. The Western Cape contributes 21% of the total national herd of 3.3 million pigs, therefore, making it an important contributor for growth and jobs, which is key in terms of the province’s economic recovery plan.
The Department working together with the South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) is considering some support to affected farmers to ensure the curtailment of the disease and thus, protect our market access for pork. The Department values the support that SAPPO has shown and we remain encouraged by their willingness to help. Farmers are encouraged to adhere to the rules in terms of the quarantine measures and ensure no movement of animals in the area to avoid disease flare-ups and perpetuation.
“African Swine Fever is a virus that can be managed. Every role player in the pig industry needs to take responsibility to protect its own herd and the national pig herd in South Africa.” said Johann Kotzé, CEO, SAPPO.
The Department would like to thank the farmers for their on-going support and would like to encourage them to remain vigilant, maintain heightened biosecurity measures and to continue monitoring all affected areas in order to stop the spread of ASF in the Western Cape.