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600 Pigs in Gulu Killed by African Swine Fever

by 5m Editor
8 September 2011, at 9:52am

UGANDA - The African swine fever that has been devastating Gulu District and neighbouring areas has now claimed lives of at least 600 pigs since April this year.

According to Daily Monitor, statistics from the veterinary department indicate that the fever kills about 40 pigs in the district on average every week, putting the livelihood of most farmers including those under the Naads programme at risk.

The swine fever virus is highly contagious and can spread very rapidly among pigs by direct or indirect contact. It also stays for a long time in pig products and the environment.

Sudden deaths with few lesions are a first sign of the infection in a herd.

In later stages, the disease is characterised by high fever, anorexia, lethargy, weakness and recumbency.

Most of the deaths, according to the district veterinary officer, Dr Tony Aliro, are caused by free range and under intensive management system.

"The disease is so intense. This calls for alertness by the public on their farming techniques," said Dr Aliro, adding that earlier sensitisation drives regarding the disease’s control yielded little results.

Dr Aliro said inspite of earlier warnings to farmers to restrict their animals from getting into contact with carcasses, many kept their pigs on loose.

The vet says the disease can be prevented by observing quarantine, being selective on types of feeds for the pigs among other measures.

Out of the 16 sub-counties in the district, only two are free of the disease but with the increasing infections, Dr Aliro said, there is a possibility of the African swine fever spreading to other districts in the region.

Further Reading

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

5m Editor