No pork imports as SA reports African Swine Fever

22 Jun 2016 08:00am
WINDHOEK, 22 JUN (NAMPA) – No live pigs and raw pork will be imported from South Africa until further notice, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has directed.
This follows the announcement of an outbreak of African Swine Fever by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa (SA).
“Surveillance activities at the official border points will be increased to ensure that products entering Namibia do not pose an increased level of risk for the pork industry of Namibia,” said Acting Permanent Secretary (PS) in the line ministry Sophy Kasheeta in a recent media statement.
The African Swine Fever virus causes a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in pigs, persistently infecting natural hosts, warthogs, bush pigs, and soft ticks of the Ornithodoros genus, with no disease signs.
South African authorities warned pig owners about two weeks ago to be vigilant after two cases of African Swine Fever were confirmed in the North West and Free State provinces. One case was discovered in a communal setup in Ipelegeng township near Schweizer-Reneke in the North West and another one on a farm near Koffiefontein in the Free State.
News24 online news service reported that in both cases, a large number of pigs started showing signs suspicious of the virus and the vets were called out to investigate. Samples were collected and submitted to the Agricultural Research Council Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (ARC OVI) since African swine fever is always on the top of the suspect list.
The SA Government warned that if the virus gets into the wild pig population, the country may end up with an endemic situation, which will result in outbreaks being reported periodically and affecting trade of pigs and pig products from the country.