ASF re-emerges in Central Africa

As African swine fever (ASF) virus is detected on a pig farm in Angola for the first time in almost 7 years, further outbreaks in domestic swine are confirmed in four South African provinces.

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For the first time since June 2017, the African swine fever (ASF) virus has been detected in the Republic of Angola.

Tests carried out in the neighboring state of Namibia in February confirmed the presence of the virus in Angolan domestic pigs, according to the official notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

That month, there were approximately 7,400 animals at the farm in the southwestern province of Huila, the Angolan veterinary authority reports. Along with other internationally recognized control procedures to prevent the further spread of infection, just over 1,000 of the pigs on the premises were slaughtered, while the rest were culled and their carcasses destroyed.  

Source of the virus on the farm is uncertain, but it was thought to be illegal animal movements or fomites, such as people, vehicles or equipment.

This latest ASF outbreak in Angola is the first to be officially recorded in Central Africa for several years. 

South Africa confirms 7 further ASF outbreaks  

Over the past month, South African’s animal health agency has confirmed a further seven ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs to WOAH. Each one began between mid-January and the end of February this year.

Four of the affected premises are described as “farms” in the official notifications. Three were located in Gauteng, and one in Free State, and each had a herd of between 45 and 1,000 swine.

The remaining outbreaks were confirmed in village herds, each comprising between 100 and 250 pigs in Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

Since the first cases in this ASF series began in April 2019, South Africa has recorded 290 outbreaks. Directly affected have been more than 110,600 domestic pigs, based on WOAH notifications.

One month ago, the Department of Agriculture for Western Cape called on pig owners in the district of George to follow advice for heightened biosecurity to protect their animals from ASF.

According to an official statement from the Government of South Africa, a fourth outbreak since 2022 had been confirmed in the Garden Route area. While two previous outbreaks had been resolved, one in Thembalethu from 2022 continued to be an active concern. Approximately 45 swine there had died, but 250 were still in the area. As a result, quarantine measures remained in place, and there was a ban on movements of live pigs or pork products out of the restricted area.

Latest overview of the global ASF situation from WOAH (dated March 11) puts the total number of ASF cases in domestic pigs across the African continent since January 2022 at 24,113 — the result of 153 outbreaks of the disease. Over this period, no outbreaks have been recorded in wild populations.

View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.

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