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Rwanda considers targeted vaccination against swine erysipelas

After multiple outbreaks of swine erysipelas, an infectious bacterial disease, Rwanda’s government is considering a vaccination campaign in affected pig farming districts.

19 January 2021, at 9:03am

Reporting in The New Times explains that the targeted vaccine drive is part of a biosecurity measure to prevent the disease from spreading to other pig farms.

Rwanda’s Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) previously reported outbreaks of swine erysipelas, known locally as ruje y’ingurube, in November 2020. Outbreaks had killed over 350 pigs across three districts in the country.

Animal health experts trace most outbreaks to poor on-farm hygiene or to instances where an infected pig is introduced to a new herd.

Fabrice Ndayisenga, Head of Animal Resources Department at RAB told The New Times that the disease is preventable and curable through hygiene and biosecurity at farm level as well as treatment by recommended antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.

However, he explained that additional challenges emerge when farmers take diseased animals to market, spreading the disease to various parts of the country. In order to tackle this issue, the RAB recommends vaccinating pigs.

However, vaccination will not be mandatory.

“We are introducing the vaccine in order to inoculate pigs in much affected farms, and in a bid to prevent the disease from spreading elsewhere, rather contain it,” he said.

Read more about his story in The New Times.