The culling of animals infected by African swine fever (ASF) has begun.
This was confirmed by the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO). Slaughtering is underway at a commercial-scale farm in North West, and will shortly also begin on eight smallholder properties in the Western Cape.
Since the beginning of February, the local pork industry has been racing to curb the spread of ASF after the first cases were detected for the year.
‘Innovative solutions debated’
SAPPO, who is the mouthpiece of Mzansi’s pork producers, confirms in its latest newsletter that a team was appointed to manage the culling of animals on the North West farm.
“All mortalities are evaluated by veterinarians plus testing for ASF is done on suspected deaths. As with other outbreak cases, disposal of culled pigs is problematic. Innovative solutions are being discussed and debated as to how to depopulate the unit safely and to salvage as many of the pigs as possible,” SAPPO wrote.
Update from the Western Cape
In the Western Cape, the culling of some 300 pigs will begin soon in Mfuleni near Cape Town International Airport. This follows after five smallholder properties and 270 pigs were affected by ASF. Initially, culling initiatives could not proceed due to unforeseen logistical and environmental legislation challenges.
According to Dr Garry Buhrman, state veterinarian in the Western Cape, the culling will take place with the assistance of the SPCA, the department of environmental affairs, the police, a waste company and the local joint operations committee.
Awareness campaign continues
Meanwhile SAPPO says it is continuing with its nationwide ASF awareness campaign. According to the organisation, pamphlets in various languages seem to be very effective. “We are also contemplating different awareness messages for areas that have already been affected by ASF and those who have not.”