There has been a ban placed by the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Central Regional on the movement of pigs and pig products within and out of the region till further notice. The measure is to help manage and control the African Swine Fever disease (A.S.F) which broke out recently.
A letter signed by the Regional Veterinary Officer Dr Felicity Gkyang Toninga, called for police support to ensure enforcement.
The swine fever is a devastating infectious disease. No vaccine exists to combat this virus that is transmitted through direct animal contact or dissemination of contaminated food.
According to the European Union, the disease “does not affect humans nor does it affect other animal species other than pigs and wild boars.
Movement, slaughtering of pigs and its products to and from the affected communities have consequently in Ghana has been banned as a measure to control and curtail the spread of the swine fever
Last year, the disease hit the Ashanti Region and over 6,000 pigs were killed, something that affected the pig business and livelihood of over 21 pig farmers in the region.
About African Swine Fever Virus
African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the causative agent of African swine fever (ASF). The virus causes a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in pigs, but persistently infects its natural hosts, warthogs, bushpigs, and soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros, with no disease signs.
ASFV is a large, double-stranded DNA virus which replicates in the cytoplasm of infected cells. ASFV infects domestic pigs, warthogs and bushpigs, as well as soft ticks (Ornithodoros), which likely act as a vector.
ASFV is the only known virus with a double-stranded DNA genome transmitted by arthropods. The virus causes a lethal haemorraghic disease in domestic pigs. Some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.
In all other species, the virus causes no obvious disease. ASFV is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and exists in the wild through a cycle of infection between ticks and wild pigs, bushpigs, and warthogs.
The disease was first described after European settlers brought pigs into areas endemic with ASFV and, as such, is an example of an ’emerging infectious disease’.