Blue ear disease ravaging Western Cape pig farms

SOUTH AFRICA - Contaminated left overs in supermarkets and restaurants are suspected to have contributed to the outbreak of the blue ear disease ravaging pig farms in the Western Cape. Thousands of pigs have been culled in the province as a result of the outbreak.
calendar icon 20 September 2007
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The outbreak of blue-ear disease has affected around 8 000 pigs on 21 Western Cape farms

Provincial veterinary services chief director, Gininda Msiza, says some farmers have the tendency of collecting the swills that have contacted the virus from the supermarkets and from the overseas ships. Msiza says they feed the animals with this, which causes the disease.

The first signs of the disease were picked up last month and again this month during routine serological monitoring of pigs. There are 21 pig farms affected in the Boland, Malmesbury, Worcester and Swellendam.

In order to prevent the spread of the disease, the department of agriculture decided to destroy all affected pigs which number more than 8 000. Msiza says so far more than 20% have already been killed.

Source: SABCNews

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