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African Swine Fever outbreak claims over 50 pigs

Pigs in Masaka at risk

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  More than 50 pigs have died in Masaka city resulting from the outbreak of African Swine Fever, according to the veterinary department.

The deaths have been reported in the villages of Luvule, Bulayi, and Sunga in the Nyendo-Mukungwe division and Ssenyange and Kijabwemi in one week.

Peter Ssennabulya, the City’s Veterinary Officer, confirmed the outbreak, saying that it may spread to other villages if nothing is done to control it.

According to Ssennabulya, more than 30 mature pigs and several young ones had died as of Wednesday.

Swine fever is a contagious and infectious disease that spreads rapidly among pigs but there is no treatment for it.

An infected pig or piglet presents with high fever, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, changes to purple color, and dies within two or three days.

Ssennabulya has advised the farmers and pork dealers to avoid selling or consuming meat from infected pigs since it may affect their health.

He has also advised the farmers to limit farm visits and bury or burn the carcasses of infected pigs to control the spread of the deadly disease.

Ssennabulya notes that they have deployed a surveillance team of veterinary extension workers to sensitize the affected communities and monitor the situation.

Harriet Najjuuko, who owns a pork joint at Ssaza Trading Centre, says that they are not yet aware of the outbreak, adding that she gets pigs from her farm and they are still in good health.

She appeals to the city and district veterinary authorities to monitor pig slaughterhouses and spray every pigsty.

Hillary Lugemwa from Kimaamya village, says that he is worried about his piggery project since his neighbor has already lost four pigs.

In 2017, African swine fever broke out in Masaka, killing more than 300 pigs on one farm in Mwalo Village, Kimannya/Kyabakuza Division.

In 2015, the same fever killed dozens of pigs in Kabonera sub-county and areas such as Kabonera ‘B’, Kiziba, Kasanje, and Kyamuyimbwa.

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