AFRICAN SWINE FEVER OUTBREAK AT SEBOKENG HOSTEL

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Over 350 pigs dead, as government warns residents against buying pork meat from informal traders.

WhatsApp Image 2021 03 30 at 132252The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) is working closely with Emfuleni Local Municipality’s Departments of Health and Waste, to monitor the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) at the Sebokeng Hostel.

Government was alerted of the abnormal number of pigs dying at the hostel from 15 March 2021, and subsequent investigations determined the animals died from ASF. The deaths triggered urgent government intervention through GDARD who immediately visited the hostel for engagements with livestock owners.

In a report, the Chief State Veterinarian for Animal Health Regulatory Services in GDARD Dr Duma Mpofu advised there is neither treatment nor vaccine for ASF. “Pig owners are hereby advised to confine their pigs and avoid bringing in new stock from auctions or other sources which they do not have full knowledge of the health status,” said Dr Mpofu.

The hotspot of the outbreak is currently the informal structures erected on land not designated for agricultural purposes at Hostel 1. Fifty-three people currently own over 1 089 pigs having lost a collective 353 pigs in the last two to three weeks, with 43 sick pigs.

WhatsApp Iage 2021 03 30 at 132252The pigs have been placed under quarantine and owners were advised on how to safely dispose of carcasses. GDARD and ELM Health and Waste Departments continue to monitor the designated sites where carcasses are disposed of in a pit with lime. Following the death of a further 36 pigs, carcasses are now removed from the designated area on a regular basis to be disposed in a safe and identified dumping area.

Livestock owners are advised to confine their pigs in pens, while informal slaughter houses and residents are warned against the sale and purchase of pork meat from carcasses of pigs which died from ASF, to prevent the spread of the disease.

Councillor Mthuzimele Sikukula will lead engagements with livestock owners scheduled for Tuesday (30 March 2021) at the local hall, which will be followed by a broader public meeting expected to be held on Thursday (01 April 2021).

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Our Vision: A developmental municipality that continuously improves the quality of life of its residents. Emfuleni Local Municipality (previously Lekoa) is one of three Local Municipalities comprising the Sedibeng District Municipality situated in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, South Africa.

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