The Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Veterinary Office in collaboration with the Municipal Assembly has temporarily banned the consumption of all pork and its related transactions due to the outbreak of African swine fever in pig farms in the Municipality.
Hundreds of pigs have been killed within the Kpone-Katamanso Municipality due to the outbreak, Dr. Emmanuel Kwao Pecku, Municipal Veterinary Officer, revealed that the disease was spreading fast amongst the pigs.
“All dead pigs should be buried and the entire place disinfected to stop the spread,” Dr. Pecku told the media at Kpone during a facility visit embarked on by Mr. Solomon Tettey Appiah, Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Chief Executive to evaluate the problem.
The Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Veterinary Officer called for a tough decision to control the spread, stressing that the mortality rate at some of the piggeries visited was as high as 80 percent, a situation described as unbearable to the farmers.
Dr. Pecku appealed to the farmers not to hesitate to report any form of suspected cases to the designated departments for the necessary actions.
He said more mortalities should be expected in the coming days as most of the live pigs were showing signs of possible infection.
Over 250 pigs have died within the Nmlitsakpo electoral area since the outbreak some few days ago. Meanwhile, other mortalities have been recorded in Kpone and its adjoining communities forcing some farmers to sell out their live pigs to their clients.
Mr. Appiah told the Ghana News Agency at Kpone after the field trip, the situation called for urgent action and circumspection in the consumption of pork and its related business, stressing that “we must work together to control the spread”.
The Kpone-Katamanso MCE, therefore, advised the farmers to take precautionary measures to contain the outbreak and assured the farmers that the Municipal Assembly would dispatch the environmental officers to aid in the battle against African swine fever.
Mr. Appiah stated that effort would be intensified to relocate the farmers after the necessary arrangements.
Scores of the farmers appealed to the Government to immediately assist them in controlling the spread as well as offer them financial support, as they were now distressed.
African swine fever is a contagious, viral disease that affects domestic pigs leading to high mortality. It does not affect people. First detected in the early 1900s in Africa.
Available data at Tema indicates that the African swine fever was recorded for the first time in Ghana in September 1999. The outbreaks occurred in the Greater Accra Region and parts of the Volta Region.
The government adopted stamping out measures to eradicate the infection, followed by intensified surveillance activities and a “sentinelization” process that came to an end in September 2000.
In October 2000, the Government declared Ghana free from the disease and infection and lifted the ban that had been imposed. During that outbreak, about 600 pigs were lost and 6,927 were slaughtered with compensation awarded to the owners.
African swine fever virus is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family. It is the causative agent of African swine fever. The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs; some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.
African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages. ASF is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. African Swine Flu is found in countries around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.