New cases of African Swine Fever detected in Gauteng province
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development would like to announce a new outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) on a farm in Gauteng Province.
The farm has been put under quarantine and the Provincial Veterinary Services instituted forward and back-tracing investigations to identify any properties that could have had direct or indirect contact with the affected farm.
Farms in Gauteng, North West and Free State Provinces have been placed under precautionary quarantine as a result of this. The ASF negative status of these farms will be confirmed before precautionary quarantine can be lifted. The source of the infection on the positive farm has not yet been identified, but it is believed that the infection was already on the farm from mid-December.
Outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) started in the previous ASF free areas of South Africa in 2019 and these outbreaks eventually affected many areas of the country. The spread of the disease seems to have slowed down, with less new properties becoming infected since October 2022. Control measures are based on quarantine and movement controls, with awareness drives to highlight essential biosecurity measures to enable pig owners to prevent infection of their pigs.
This outbreak of ASF on a farm with good biosecurity measures in place again illustrates that the virus is highly contagious.
All pig farmers and pig keepers are again urged to only buy pigs directly from known healthy herds and to prevent contact between their pigs and other pigs or wildlife. Visitors should be discouraged from coming into the area where pigs are being kept. Anyone who has contact with pigs should wash their hands before and after handling the pigs; and before moving to other farms, one should ensure that they have thoroughly showered and to only use clean clothes, shoes, and equipment.
ASF is a controlled disease in terms of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act 35 of 1984), which means that all cases or suspicion of ASF must be reported to the state veterinary services. Pig owners are encouraged to be extra vigilant and to report any increased pig deaths or unusual symptoms to the local state veterinary office. All pig owners are also reminded that Section 11 of the Animal Diseases Act makes every animal keeper responsible to prevent the spread of disease from their animals or land to other properties. The importance of biosecurity is again emphasised, both to protect your own animals, and to prevent the inadvertent spread to other pigs. Veterinarians are urged to rule out ASF whenever there is increased mortality on a farm.
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