A communal pig farming operation in Koppies in the Free State was the location of the latest positive case of ASF. The surviving pigs (76) were culled last week Saturday, thanks to the efforts of SAPPO and the Free State veterinary services, assisted by NSPCA to ensure that the exercise was done humanely, says Dr Peter Evans responsible for consumer assurance at SAPPO.
“This latest case in Koppies is not surprising and we are likely to find other cases in the coming months. It is very apparent that movement of live pigs plays a major role in the transmission of ASF. Other factors, which include pigs scavenging on pigs that have died from ASF, ensure that the cycle of transmission is not broken.
“SAPPO is of the opinion that we cannot address ASF from a veterinary perspective alone. Socio-economic factors such as poverty are major contributors to the way communities ‘farm’ with pigs. If we do not include other government departments e.g. social development, agriculture production, local authorities, to name but a few, we will have limited success.
“SAPPO is actively seeking a new and novel approach to ASF management. SAPPO members are encouraged to maintain the highest biosecurity levels and disciplines. Pig farms should become compartmentalised if they are not yet, Dr Evans says.