The Delta State Government has said there has been a suspected outbreak of pig disease, known as African Swine Fever (ASF) in pig farms across the State.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports ASF, a contagious viral disease impacting only pigs, is caused by the African swine fever virus.
In a statement, Dona Obuseh, Delta State Director of Information stated that the primary source of infection has been traced to the importation of infested pigs into the State.
He further stated that the disease was imported into the State by butchers from some states that have the outbreak of the disease.
Consequently, pig farmers and butchers in the State have been advised to step up bio-security in their respective farms and halt inter-farm movement of pigs, humans, materials as well as importation of pig from outside the State.
Also, pig farmers and butchers in the State were advised to protect their pig farms from free range pigs and report any suspected sick pig to the veterinary clinic, livestock officer or agric extension agents.
Accordingly, pig farmers and stakeholders were advised to beware of buying already sick animals to forestall the outbreak of the disease in their farms.
TNG reports ASF is a contagious viral disease impacting only pigs, not humans; so, it is not a public health threat or food safety concern.
Meanwhile, the State Government had said it will quarantine the Owa-Alero Youth Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP) Farm Cluster where the outbreak has been reported.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Julius Egbedi, in company of the State Chief Job Creation Officer, Prof. Eric Eboh, made this known on Thursday during an inspection of the affected farm in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta.
The commissioner noted that a permanent method to eliminate the dreaded African Swine Fever was to quarantine the farm for at least three months and destroy the pigs in the farm.
Egbedi decried the level of indiscipline exhibited by farmers in that cluster and charged them to always pay close attention to and comply with prescribed guidelines for animal husbandry.
According to him, farmers have to adhere to laid down biosecurity and other measures in the rearing of livestock to prevent the eruption of avoidable diseases.
He said: “To forestall outbreak of an epidemic, the farm would be shut down and quarantined for a minimum of three months and every pig in the farm would be destroyed.”
Egbedi, who also sympathised with the farmers over their losses, assured them of state government assistance to mitigate the losses incurred after an investigation to ascertain the extent of the loss.
Also, the State Chairman, Pig Farmers Association, Mr Jerry Ossai, who described the incident as unfortunate and sad, appealed to them to adhere to the commissioner’s advice.
Ossai said that farmers should also take advantage of services offered by Insurance Companies and get their farms insured so that they would not lose out totally in events of such nature.
On his part, the state Director for Veterinary Services, Dr Charles Diai, charged the farmers to be disciplined in the rearing of their animals to ensure maximum yield and minimum losses.
Diai also assured that since the ASF was not transmittable to humans there was no need to panic.