Suspected Swine Fever Kills Serere Pigs

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Florence Atero, a piggery farmer in Kakusi parish, says they have petitioned sub county veterinary officers to sensitize them on how to contain the disease and provide vaccines at subsidized prices.

There is a suspected outbreak of the African swine fever in Serere district. Dr. Collins Amonya, the Serere District Veterinary Officer, says several suspected cases of African swine fever have been reported in Pingire Sub County.

Dr. Amonya says they have submitted samples to scientists for confirmation and establish the magnitude of the problem, adding that they expect results soon. Several piggery farmers have complained of losing their pigs to the disease since the dry season begun in 2018.
  Florence Atero, a piggery farmer in Kakusi parish, says they have petitioned sub county veterinary officers to sensitize them on how to contain the disease and provide vaccines at subsidized prices.

"You only realize that the pigs are weak in their knees, saliva is flowing from the mouth as well as mucus is coming out of the nose but when you slaughter it, the meat is reddish or yellowish in color," Florence Atero said.


Janet Ingwau, a resident of Akusaima village, says close to 100 pigs belonging to different farmers have died in her village since January 2019. John Robert Ocheger, LC I chairperson Igola village, says at least four pigs die each day in his area due to swine fever. 


He calls upon government to intervene and rescue the farmers, saying many of them can't afford vaccines. Ocheger also appealed to piggery farmers to confine their pigs and avoid eating pork from dead pigs to avoid spreading the disease. 


Dr. Amonya is optimistic that the disease will most likely subside now that the rains have started returning in some parts of Teso. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, which is responsible for serious economic and production losses. 


The disease is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family, which also infects ticks. The disease presents with high fever, depression, anorexia and loss of appetite, hemorrhages in the skin and redness of skin on ears, abdomen and legs, abortion in pregnant sows, cyanosis, vomiting, diarrhea and death within 6-13 days (or up to 20 days). Mortality rates may be as high as 100%.

 

Mentioned: agriculture