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Nigeria reports major ASF outbreak

African swine fever (ASF) has devastated a large pig farm in Nigeria; new outbreaks recorded in multiple European countries. ASF has struck the largest

Voratham Yuangngoen |

African swine fever (ASF) has devastated a large pig farm in Nigeria; new outbreaks recorded in multiple European countries.

ASF has struck the largest pig farm in West Africa, according to Pulse of Nigeria.

Pigs valued at 7 billion naira (NGN; US$18 million) had already died at the Oke-Aro piggery in Lagos state, according to the report last week.

Signs of the disease were evident in February or March, said Dr. Femi Oke, chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria. Farmers tried to treat their animals and control the spread of the disease, he said. However, the strict lockdown imposed by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) hampered their efforts.

Pig owners have been devastated by the loss of their animals and, unable to repay loans, are facing financial disaster.

Oke-Aro farm is in ruins, according to Oke, and the future also looks bleak for the 10,000 members who farm the cooperative’s 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) of arable land. He has appealed to the state and federal governments for assistance for the affected farmers.

Figures released this week put the loss of pigs due to ASF at the farm at around 300,000, reports Africa CGTN. Almost all the animals have been infected. Last time ASF hit the farm was in 2008.

ASF is known to have been present among domestic and wild pigs in Nigeria for many years, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

With this latest outbreak at Oke-Aro, Nigeria has become the eighth African nation to have reported ASF in domestic pigs so far this year. Outbreaks are ongoing in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Togo. In recent months, veterinary authorities in Kenya and Zimbabwe informed the OIE that the ASF situation has been “resolved” in their respective countries.

More ASF outbreaks in Romanian backyard herds

Over the past week, Romania’s veterinary authority has reported to the OIE a further six ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs. A total of 45 animals were lost to the disease as a result of mortality or culling. Ranging in size up to 11 pigs, the affected herds are in southern, central and northwestern counties.

Outbreak at Bulgarian farm confirmed

In April, ASF was confirmed at a small farm in Sumen, according to the agriculture ministry. In its latest report to the OIE, it records the death of one pig out of a herd of 105 animals. The rest of the herd has been culled.

Located in eastern Bulgaria, Sumen province was the location of two farms with ASF outbreaks in March of this year.

Situation “resolved” in Ukrainian province

OIE has received a report from the animal health agency in Ukraine that ASF has been “resolved” in Vinnitsa oblast.

In this western region that borders Moldova, there were three confirmed ASF outbreaks between mid-February and early April. Affected were one farm, one backyard herd and a wild boar. Ukraine has reported no new cases of the disease in Vinnitsa since that time.

Within the past month, Ukraine has reported the return of ASF to the regions of Zaporizhia, Sumy and Ternopil.

Three European states report new ASF cases in wild boar

Over the past week, OIE received reports from three veterinary authorities covering new outbreaks among their respective wild boar populations. All confirmed during May and June, the cases were Hungary (72 animals), Romania (70) and Latvia (7).

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

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