About 5 671 pigs in Chinsali district have died of African Swine Fever while the movement of pigs and products has been banned.
Muchinga Province Provincial Veterinary Officer, Dr. Wilson Katumbi, has disclosed during a stakeholders meeting held, today, in Chinsali that 766 households have directly been affected by the loss of the pigs.
Dr. Katumbi revealed that the loss of 5 671 pigs was from a total pig population of 8 259 in Chinsali adding that the mortality could be greater in view of cases that had not been reported to his office.
Katumbi lamented the high mortality rate of pigs in Chinsali district and he described the loss as a huge economic setback to the 766 affected households.
Katumbi said the disease was first reported in Chinsali in May 2017 and has since spread to four other districts that include: Isoka, Shiwang’andu, Mpika and Chama.
He explained that African swine fever was a highly contagious viral disease of swine that could record 100% mortality adding that the disease had no cure or vaccine to prevent it.
Dr. Katumbi further explained that the control policy of African Swine Fever is by slaughtering and destroying all pigs once the disease was detected in one or more pigs within a piggery unit.
He added that there was no scientific evidence of the disease spreading to human beings and other animal species but he, however, said his office was against people consuming products from diseased animals.
Katumbi reiterated that the ban on the movement of pigs and their products covered all the five affected districts in Muchinga that include: Chinsali, Isoka, Shiwang’andu, Mpika and Chama.
Meanwhile the stakeholders resolved that pig owners should be cautioned to observe good pig management practices that include confinement in housing structures as opposed to straying around on free range. They resolved that every straying and unconfined pig should be killed.
The stakeholders meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock of Muchinga Province and attended by Senior Chief Nkula, Village Headmen, Councillors, Church representatives and the media, all of Chinsali district.