Ten things any game breeder should know about African swine fever:
(*When referring to pigs in this blog, all pigs are included, wild and domestic as well as warthog and bush pig)
African swine fever (ASF) is found in warthogs, bush pigs and other wild pigs in the ASF-controlled areas of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal and in other Southern African countries. Domestic and wild pigs and their products may not be removed from ASF affected areas or countries because these are dangerous to pigs* in the rest of South Africa.
ASF is a disease that makes pigs* sick and kills almost all of them. There is no medicine which can cure ASF; however it does not make humans sick.
Warthogs, bush pigs and domestic pigs can get ASF if they are in contact with other sick pigs* or if they move around in areas were those sick pigs* have been. Pigs* can also get ASF from wild pigs and from the ticks dropped by wild pigs in the ASF Controlled Areas.
Warthogs, bush pigs and domestic pigs can get ASF if they eat kitchen waste, garbage and swill that contain meat from sick* pigs or that has been in contact with meat from sick pigs*. According to the law, kitchen waste must be boiled for one hour before it is fed to pigs*; this is to keep them safe from diseases.
Any pigs* (domestic or wild) with ASF may have the following signs and sypmtoms:
Not wanting to eat;
Struggling to breathe;
Pregnant pigs may abort;
The ears, nose, tummy and legs may become red;
The pigs die very quickly within 2 to10 days.
ASF spreads very quickly between sick and healthy pigs* and almost all pigs* in a group/ herd may die within two to ten days.
Some pigs* which may become sick, but do not die are considered dangerous as they can still make other pigs* sick.
If you suspect that your pigs, warthog or bush pigs or those belonging to someone else may have ASF, notify your local Animal Health Technician or State Veterinarian immediately. They will then come to test the pigs*.
Affected areas or herds are placed under quarantine to prevent this deadly pig disease from spreading.
Do not sell pigs* that are or might be sick with ASF because this will cause the disease to spread and kill many more pigs*. Do not buy pigs* from auctions or speculators if they cannot prove that all the pigs* on the seller’s farm are healthy. Do not buy or sell pigs* at all if there is an ASF outbreak in your area because you could spread the disease. If in doubt, ask your local State Veterinarian or Animal Health Technician for advice.
DO NOT FEED KITCHEN WASTE;
DO NOT BUY FROM UNKNOWN SOURCES.
Feel free to contact your nearest State/Private Veterinarian/Animal Health Technician for further information.