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Unam to cull pigs as swine fever spreads

2020-05-07  Loide Jason

Unam to cull pigs as swine fever spreads
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The African swine fever that reportedly killed over 102 pigs in the Omusati region has spread to the University of Namibia’s Ogongo Campus.
 As such, 23 pigs from Ogongo campus will be culled after coming into contact with infected pigs. According to Omusati’s chief veterinarian, Dr Josephat Peter, 12 pigs at the Unam Ogongo campus have died because of the fever. “Procedurally, if the piggeries are in contact with the infected ones, they will all have to be put down with the advice of the veterinarian officer. In this case because the pigs at the university are in the lots but not in one kraal, we have to issue them a notice attached on the laboratory test results, which is now outstanding and we are hoping we will receive it end of this week,” he explained. 

The veterinarian added so far 102 pigs have died from suspected swine fever, while over 350 are at risk for having been in contact with infected animals in the Omusati region. Over 90 pigs are waiting to be culled. The outbreak of the African swine fever was first reported on 17 March. Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor at the Ogongo campus, Christopher Mberema confirmed that the local veterinary office has taken samples from the animals for laboratory testing. He, however, added the university would have to cull all the pigs as a measure to contain the spread of swine fever.  

“When one pig is infected, all the pigs in contact with that sick one have to be put down and in this case, Unam is not exempted. Although we have the best genetic that adapts to every weather condition, we have no option but to put them down,” he confirmed. He said the pigs were used for learning purposes and the university will not be able to have pigs for the next semester. 
According Dr Peter, the African swine fever is not the same as “swine flu”. The African swine fever is harmless to humans. It can spread through contaminated pork products or the clothes of people working with infected pigs, he said. “It does not travel through the air, but it is long-lived and hard to get rid of which farmers are learning the hard way,” he explained. He stated further that there is no vaccine to prevent African swine fever or drugs to treat it. 

2020-05-07  Loide Jason

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