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Eighty Pigs Perish as ASF Hits Dar es Salaam

by 5m Editor
21 April 2011, at 9:27am

TANZANIA - As Easter approaches, pork consumers have been warned on the outbreak of African Swine Fever in Dar es Salaam, which has reportedly killed 80 pigs over the last three weeks.

A survey by the Daily News established that Kurasini and Keko areas have been seriously hit by the disease forcing local authorities to impose a quarantine in a bid to contain the situation.

The Temeke District Veterinary Officer, Dr Cleophas Shirima, said the quarantine would go on until the disease disappears. He said it had no cure.

“Although the disease cannot be transferred to human beings or other domestic animals, we have to make sure preventive measures like disinfection are done to minimise the risks or economic losses to dealers,“ he said.

The Temeke Municipal Agriculture and Livestock Officer, Mr Cosmas Kimati, said his office had notified the Ilala and Kinondoni municipalities on the outbreak of the disease.

But reports from the two municipalities have it that the areas are so far free from the disease, although poultry keepers have been advised to take extra care of their livestock as well.

“We want to assure the public that the situation is under control but they have to be on alert and report to relevant authorities when they spot strange signs on their pigs,“ said Mr Kimati.

Earlier, this year ASF cases were reported in Kyela, Ileje and Rungwe districts in Mbeya Region and already Tanzania through the Ministry of Livestock and Food Security has reported the disease to the Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for more attention.

Some 1,610 pigs in Mbeya Region were affected in the outbreaks, of which 191 were infected, out of which 79 died. Herd sizes in villages varied from 239 to 680. Many pork shops in Kinondoni Municipality were seen operating as usual, but many dealers said they were not buying pigs from Mbeya and Iringa regions due to the outbreak.

“We are collecting pigs from other areas like Chanika, Chamazi and Bagamoyo where many farmers are currently engaged in the business. We don’t order them from upcountry anymore,“ said Mr Ladislaus Shayo, a ‘kitimoto’ shop owner in the municipality.

The main symptoms of ASF are fever and haemorrhage, or internal bleeding and in most cases the virus can survive for several months in fresh pork and processed pork products. ASF, a contagious viral disease in pigs, is found in Africa in wild pigs and ticks.

It is transmitted readily between these two hosts. Susceptibility to the disease can vary between species of pigs, however, African wild swine particularly warthogs and bush pigs do not show clinical signs when they are infected.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on African swine fever by clicking here.