eSwatini bans live pigs imports from countries hit by African swine fever

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FILE PHOTO: Pigs are seen on a farm at a village in Changtu county, Liaoning province, China January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ryan Woo/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Pigs are seen on a farm. REUTERS/Ryan Woo/File Photo

The Kingdom of eSwatini on Monday banned imports of live pigs from countries that test positive for African swine fever (ASF).

The move comes in the wake of a report of an outbreak of the disease in neighbouring South Africa nearly two months ago.

The country’s director of veterinary and livestock services Xolani Dlamini told a local daily (Swazi Observer) that the movement of pigs between farms will be strictly controlled and a system put in place to track and identify the animals.

“Importations are only from slaughterhouses and establishments that are located in ASF-free zones and also source their slaughter stock from registered and supervised disease-free compartments,” Dlamini said.

African swine fever is harmless to humans. However, it is a fatal animal disease affecting pigs and wild boars with up to 100% mortality. There is no vaccine against the disease.

In April, the South African agriculture ministry reported that it had detected an outbreak of African swine fever on a farm in North West province.

According to the ministry’s report, 32 pigs in the Ditsobotla district died while four others were slaughtered thereafter. The report further stated that the outbreak happened outside South Africa’s control zone for the disease and could have been linked to contact with wild animals.

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