Gauteng farmers have been dealt a double whammy this year as they need to deal with the disastrous impact of loadshedding and the devastating effect of African Swine Fever (ASF).
ASF is not to be confused with Swine flu, and residents do not need to be alarmed because this is not an animal-to-human transmissible disease.
ASF is caused by a devastating haemorrhagic virus.
The latest ASF has been discovered on a very large piggery in Gauteng. Wherever the virus is found, all pigs in the piggery must be slaughtered, as there is no cure for ASF. All surrounding farms have been put in quarantine, including farms in the North West and the Free State, where ASF has also been discovered.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has engaged with the South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) regarding the current outbreak of ASF in the province.
SAPPO has assured the DA that there is no need for the public to panic as this outbreak is not the same as Swine Flu and cannot be transmitted to humans.
SAPPO also assists in providing personal protective equipment (PPE) resources for animal health personnel, disinfectants, equipment to prepare disposal sites, and ASF awareness material.
Due to the high unemployment rate in our country and the lack of food security, pigs have become an easy source of food as they eat anything, live anywhere, and provide a good source of income. Unfortunately, this has created another easy way for the virus to flourish as the pigs travel across borders.
The DA urges residents not to purchase pigs from friends or auctions from local farmers that the provincial authorities have not sanctioned, as this is how the virus spreads from infected pigs.