Swine fever hits Ashanti Region

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An outbreak of African swine fever has reportedly hit three districts of the Ashanti Region, leading to the killing of over 400 pigs between May and June this year, the Veterinary Services Department has revealed.

The affected communities are Adjaman and Amakom in the Bosomtwe District, Hemang near Santasi in the Atwima Nwabiagya District and Tepa in the Ahafo Ano North District.

Movement and slaughtering of pigs and its products to and from the affected communities have consequently has been banned as a measure to control the spread of the disease which is caused by a virus. The disease affects only pigs and is highly contagious.

It is characterized by a high fever hemorrhages and cyanosis in the skin, loss of appetite and a high mortality rate and there is no vaccine against the disease.

The swine fever is mainly acquired through the movement of infected animals that show signs of the disease and the feeding of infected material to pigs.

Last year, the disease hit the Ashanti Region and over 6,000 pigs were killed, a situation that affected the pig business and the livelihood of over 21 pig farmers.

Officials from the National Disaster Management Organisation, and the Ashanti Regional Director of the Veterinary Service Department, Dr Emmanuel Edward Effah, have inspected some pig farms in the region to assess the situation.

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Chairman of the Pig Farmers Association in Atwima Nwabiagya District, Augustine Naah, said last year’s outbreak had crippled their business.

He said they were not compensated for the killing of their pigs as happened in previous years where farmers were given something to start their business. He appealed to the government to come to their aid to enable them start over their business.

Dr Effah appealed to all pig farmers, livestock traders, butchers, meat processors and shop owners as well as the public to co-operate with them in its efforts to control the disease.

He called on all pig farmers in the region to report immediately, the presence of any strange disease among their pigs to the nearest office of the Ministry of Food and Agric in their area.

Director General of NADMO, Nana Agyemang Prempeh, expressed concerns about the numerous outbreaks in the country in recent times.

He reiterated their commitment to helping find lasting solutions to the disease to enable farmers to go about their business.

Nana Prempeh assured them of government’s support to eradicate the disease and prevent further spread.

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