The Western Cape Department of Agriculture announced that two cases of African Swine Fever (AFS) have been identified at two smallholder farms in the province, on Thursday, February 25.

The farms are located in Mfuleni and Eerste River and Agriculture Minister Dr Ivan Meyer said the presence of the virus was confirmed by postmortem samples submitted to ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Research, which is situated in Pretoria.

This finding follows the intensive investigation conducted by the Veterinary Services of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to determine the cause of the pigs dying in the area over the last two weeks,” said the Department.

In response, Meyer instituted a ban on the sale and movement of live pigs from Mfuleni to limit the disease’s spread. He urged pig farmers to only purchase the animals from farms with a proven clean health history and said farmers must practise good hygiene practices on their holdings in order to minimise the risk of disease introduction.

The virus can spread via any part of a raw pig carcass, according to Dr Gininda Msiza, the Head of Veterinary Services in the Western Cape.

“This is is the first time ASF has been diagnosed in the Western Cape Province following recent outbreaks in the Free State, Eastern Cape Province and Gauteng. Therefore, any dead pigs must be disposed of effectively, and no pig waste should be fed to other pigs,” said Msiza.

A survey to determine the extent of the disease’s spread in Mfuleni and the immediate surrounding area is underway, according to the Department. Blood samples will be collected from individual infected pigs from suspect farms in the area.

“I want to thank those affected farmers for minimising the possible negative impact on trade and sensitising pig farmers in other Western Cape areas. This will help to limit the spread of disease,” Meyer.

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