The Ashanti Region has recorded an outbreak of African swine fever in three districts, which has led to the killing of over 400 pigs between May and June this year.
According to the Veterinary Services Department of the region, 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.
As a result of the disease outbreak, the movement, slaughtering of pigs and its products to and from the affected communities have been banned as a measure to control and curtail the spread of the swine fever which is caused by a virus that produced syndromes from acute to chronic.
African swine fever is a disease which affects only pigs and is highly contagious. It is characterised by a high fever haemorrhages and cyanosis in the skin, loss of appetite and a high mortality rate and there is no vaccine against the disease.
The disease is mainly transmitted through the movement of infected animals that show symptoms of the disease and the feeding of infected material to pigs.
The Chairman of the Pig Farmers’ Association in Atwima Nwabiagya District, Augustine Naah, said the disease outbreak which also occurred last year crippled their business.
He stated that 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 to start over their business. Dr Effah appealed to all pig farmers, livestock traders, butchers, meat processors, shop owners and the public to co-operate with them in its efforts to control the disease.
Mr Naah 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 Agriculture (MoFA) in their area.
The Director General of NADMO, Nana Agyemang Prempeh, was concerned 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, however, assured them of government’s support to eradicate the disease and prevent further spread.
Last year, the disease hit the Ashanti Region and over 6,000 pigs were killed, something that affected the pig business and livelihood of over 21 pig farmers in the region. Officials from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Ashanti Regional Director of the Veterinary Service Department have inspected some pig farms in the region to assess the situation.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri