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South Africa reports new cases of African swine fever

In South Africa, six new outbreaks of ASF this month affected three farms, each with between 110 and 220 animals.

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Michael Rayback |

In the Caribbean, no new ASF cases have been reported but authorities continue on high alert for signs of the disease.

In mid-December, South Africa’s veterinary authority officially registered a further six new outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in domestic pigs.

According to the report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), presence of the ASF virus was confirmed in the period October 11 to December 9. Affected were three farms — each with between 110 and 220 animals. Two were in Mpumalanga, and one in Gauteng. Each affecting between 20 and 400 pigs, these herds were in Western Cape.

So far in 2021, 127 ASF outbreaks have occurred in South Africa. This is according to the EMPRES system of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO; as of December 28).

No new cases reported in East or West Africa

This year, two outbreaks occurred in Uganda, according to the FAO system. In November, local media reported pig mortalities from ASF in three districts of the Western Region of this East African state.

In West Africa, local sources reported the death of pigs at two locations in Ghana during July and August. These have not been registered with official agencies.

ASF cases were confirmed in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in April. The disease was confirmed at just one location, and the situation was declared “resolved” to the OIE in October.

ASF situation in Caribbean region

The arrival of ASF in the Dominican Republic in July is among the nation’s top 10 events of 2021, reports Dominican Today. This disease had previously been absent from the region for 43 years. According to this source, the deaths of thousands of pigs occurred before the disease was brought under control by the authorities in November.

Between April and the end of October, the nation’s veterinary authority registered a total of 174 outbreaks to the OIE. Over this period, cases were detected in 26 of the 33 districts of the country. Directly affected were around 14,500 pigs. No further updates on the disease situation have been published by the OIE over the past two months.

Also located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola is the Republic of Haiti, which shares a long border with the Dominican Republic. Haiti’s first cases of ASF since 1984 were confirmed with the OIE in August. By mid-September, seven outbreaks were confirmed in three of the country’s 10 departments. Affected in total were 94 pigs. The most recent update on the situation was received by the OIE in October.

Based on information supplied to the FAO, there have been 177 ASF outbreaks in the Dominican Republic this year, and 10 in Haiti.

Jamaica raises ASF preparedness

Spread of ASF from other continents to the Caribbean region raised the alert level for signs of the disease across the Americas.

At the start of December, it was announced that Jamaica has developed the capacity to diagnose ASF. Through its veterinary services group, the agriculture ministry says PCR test results can be produced within two hours of sample collection, reported Jamaica Gleaner.

Ever since the first cases were detected in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica has been on high alert for ASF, according to the report. The nation’s authorities have been working together to minimize the risk of the virus entering Jamaican territory. Measures include increased surveillance and monitoring for signs of the disease in pigs, and intensified border checks. Meanwhile, pig farmers are being urged to raise biosecurity levels.

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

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