More than 500 pigs have been infected with African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.

The Western Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Victor Oko Nai, made the disclosure during heads of department meeting at Sekondi on Tuesday, to take stock of last year?s activities and strategise for the year.

He said the viral disease was detected last week and that all livestock infected with the disease would be slaughtered and burnt to prevent it from spreading to other communities outside the district.

He indicated that three communities in the district had been affected, adding that farmers? whose livestock had been affected would be registered and compensated.

He cautioned farmers? who livestock had been affected not to smuggle pig products outside or bring in new livestock to the community since fresh livestock could be infected.

At Anochie alone, 512 pigs have been infected by the viral disease, while one family alone had 98 of his livestock infected by the deadly viral disease.

African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease of pigs and very similar in its clinical presentation to classical swine fever. The viruses are distinct and classified in different families.

Some of the symptoms of the disease include vomiting, diarrhoea (sometimes bloody), reddening or darkening of the skin, particularly the ears and snout and gummed-up eyes. Other signs were laboured breathing and coughing abortion, still births and weak litters, weakness and unwillingness to stand.

The Western Regional Epidemiologist, Dr. Rubin Tetteh, told the GNA that the disease is not endemic in the region, therefore communities that had not been affected by the disease could eat pork.

He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has put in place remedial measures to avoid the spread of the disease, including disinfecting the pens of livestock affected by the disease, farmers observing 40 days sentinel period, cleaning of the pens of livestock, biological education of farmers and farmers avoid feeding livestock with waste food from restaurants.

Source: GNA


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