African Swine Fever outbreak announced in Central Region (Updated)

BY: Shirley Asiedu Addo

The Central Regional Veterinary Services Department has placed a ban on the movement of pigs and piggery products in the region following an outbreak of African Swine Fever in the region.

So far about 500 infected pigs have been destroyed.

The National Director of the Veterinary Services Department, Dr Mickey Aryee said in an interview that the department was undertaking a "stamping-out" exercise to ensure that the spread was curtailed.

He said the department had alerted all stakeholder agencies to help control the spread.

The main exercise now, he said, was to educate farmers and ensure that they report unusual behaviour of their pigs to the department to help cull all infected ones.


Health Implications

Dr Aryee stressed that the outbreak was a health issue and that the department was not taking chances in ensuring that infected pigs were stamped out.

"We are not leaving the destruction of infected piggery to farmers and owners. The department is doing the destruction oursleves", he stated.

The Central Regional Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Oppong told Graphic Online the police have in accordance ordered all check points to enforce the ban.

"As a security institution the regional command has given an immediate directive that all policemen at the various security points and on snap check duties to ensure they enforce the ban," she said.

She said the police was working on broader and detailed operational orders to ensure the ban was effectively enforced in the region.

African Swine Fan is a highly contagious and fatal disease of domestic pigs. It most commonly appears in the acute form as a haemorrhagic fever. Mortality is usually close to 100 percent and pigs of all ages are affected, according to the FAO

And according to the European Commission, ASF is a devastating infectious disease of pigs, which is usually deadly but with no existing vaccine to combat the virus. While it does not affect humans or other animal species other than pigs and wild boars, it can be transmitted either via direct animal contact or via dissemination of contaminated food (e.g. sausages or uncooked meat).