Blue Ear disease forces culling of pigs

SOUTH AFRICA - An outbreak of Blue Ear disease among pigs in parts of the Western Cape has led to more than 5,000 of the animals to be culled.
calendar icon 12 September 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

This is the second outbreak of its kind in three years.

Alie Van Jaarsveld, spokesperson for Agriculture MEC Cobus Dowry, confirmed that there had been an outbreak of Blue Ear disease in the Boland area. He said about 15 farms had been affected and subsequently quarantined. The affected areas include Malmesbury and Wellington.

Van Jaarsveld said between 5 000 and 6 000 pigs had to be culled so far due to the deadly disease. And, while Blue Ear disease did not affect human beings, it was highly contagious among pigs.

Van Jaarsveld said the outbreak was under control due to the strict "checks and balances" imposed on farmers by the agriculture department.

But the SPCA's chief executive officer Allen Perrins disagreed. He told the Cape Argus that, although there are control measures in place, the policing strategy was very poor and could result in the infected pigs filtering into the informal settlements where the animals could be sold illegally and contaminate other pigs there.


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