The South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that a severe outbreak of African swine fever has spread to a fourth province in the country, following a spate of outbreaks last month.
The disease was first reported in the country’s North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces last month and has now spread to the Heilbron area of the central Free State Province.
In a statement, the ministry said that the affected areas have been placed under quarantine and investigations are underway to trace the origin of the outbreaks and identify other farms that may be affected.
The department said farmers are requested to be vigilant and report any sudden illness and deaths of their pigs to the local state veterinarian.
The World Organisation for Animal Health describes African swine fever as a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs which can cause serious production and economic losses. There is currently no known approved vaccine for African swine flu.