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Department serious to contain ASF


Johann Kotzé, CEO of SAPPO was part of a delegation that again met with minister Thoko Didiza, minister of the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development (DALRRD) yesterday about the ASF outbreak in the Eastern Cape.

A meeting of stakeholders also took place this morning.

 Kotzé says that it is clear that the department is serious about preventing the spreading of the disease and the provincial department of agriculture is playing a major role.

“There is strict control. The police and the defence force help to implement the regulations instituted by the department and they are manning the roadblocks in the area. The department is also implementing an urgent awareness campaign. Awareness pamphlets in English and Xhosa are being distributed at roadblocks and various representatives of of the department, such as the MEC for agriculture in the province, conducted interviews with radio stations and with local newspapers.

Dr Cebisa Mnqeta of the directorate animal health in the province said that the veterinarians of the department have already visited 29 villages in the area. It seems that the original outbreak is confined two only two villages and not five as was originally expected. It is still not clear what the reason for the outbreak was but it is expected that it could be the feeding of swill, he said.

The department also communicated the outbreak to local municipalities and abattoirs in the province.

Brent Mcnamara of Agri Eastern Cape told the meeting this morning that they have informed cooperatives, agents and other provincial agricultural organisations in the province about the outbreak.

Dr Peter Evans of SAPPO have meanwhile compiled an information document about the difference between swine fever and swine flu as this often leads to confusion. He and Johann Kotzé will visit the Eastern Cape next week.

Dr Mpho Maja, national director of animal health thanked everybody concerned for their hard work and dedication. “There is no way that the department can fight this fight alone,” she said.

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