Pig Farming in Enugu is Threatened by African Swine Fever Endemic

feed ingredient livestonewsReport by Dr Ezeme Udoakuchinyere (Enugu)

In both Oye-Emene and Abakpa abattoirs cattle and pigs are slaughtered on daily basis, although in different slaughter slabs. A visit to these abattoirs revealed that significant numbers of the slaughtered animals are infected from the farm. The butchers and veterinarians on duty at theses abattoirs complained bitterly about the menace of African Swine Fever (ASF) on pigs in Enugu state. Traces of tuberculosis lesion were also fairly frequently reported in cattle slaughtered at the abattoirs. They stated emphatically that ASF was becoming an endemic disease of pigs in the state. Consequently, this has affected the availability of matured pigs for sale and purchase as many local/backyard pig farmers in rural areas where these pigs were sought had shutdown.

According to a veterinarian, because ASF is a viral disease of swine with no specific treatment but rather treated symptomatically, the ugly monster keeps spreading while the local farmers failed to take relevant steps towards limiting the spread. Rather than slaughter and dispose, they prefer to sell the sick or dead pig, thus, the spread continues.

Around middle of September 2019, an alarm was raised on suspected case of ASF in a pig farm in Kuje, Abuja. The farm lost 90% of its flock the previous day and samples collected and taken to National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Jos subsequently confirmed ASF. Similar infection was also reported at Kuje-sauka and Lugbe, Abuja. In response to this situation, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammadu Bello Umar, gave the approval to commence activities towards the prevention and control of this terrible disease. To achieve this, survey, pig farmers forum and sensitization of farmers on the principles and practices of biosecurity was conducted in selected pig producing states in Nigeria; North, West and South-East from the 29th September through October, 2019.

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