They may be distant cousins, but thanks to the outbreak of African swine fever, pigs and warthogs are to steer clear of each other. That’s the warning issued to pig breeders by the North West’s Department of Agriculture.
Its veterinary officials visited areas neighbouring the farm where the outbreak was first detected. They conducted tests to ascertain how far the virus could have spread.
It’s suspected the outbreak came from a warthog on a local farm.
Animal health specialists are racing against time as they hope to establish how far the virus may have spread and to develop ways to contain it.
“What happened is we come into a farm that has pigs, we take a sample of blood; we take ticks for identification; then from there we disinfect. What I can say to the farmers is they must avoid buying pigs from other areas without being tested. They must be careful of wild pigs,” says Lichtenburg State Vet, Nono Lobakeng.
Meanwhile, affected farmers face a tough journey ahead, recovering their losses.
“My pigs got swine fever. I lost around 40 pigs … around R100 000 straight. In the years that are coming, I have to stay open for about a year and I am going to lose about R350 000 before I am going to make an income again,” says a local farmer, Gerhard Snyman.
Animal health specialists say they will visit all farmers within a 60 kilometre radius of the outbreak zone.