African swine fever seems to be getting under control in South Africa’s Western Cape.
Over the past month, the veterinary authority in South Africa has officially registered a further eight outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in domestic pigs.
Of these, four were in Western Cape and Cape Town, three in Gauteng, and one in Free State, according to the latest notifications to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). These reports cover outbreaks starting between November 3 and February 14. In total, just over 1,100 pigs were involved.
Three of the affected premises were described as “farms,” each with between 35 and 200 animals. Each of the backyards had 12-27 pigs, while the village herds comprised 74-78 animals.
For South Africa, the three current ASF series began almost three years ago, in April 2019. So far, 145 outbreaks have been registered with the OIE, and these have involved more than 58,600 pigs.
During 2021, 133 ASF outbreaks occurred in South Africa. This is according to the EMPRES system of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). So far this year, the number of outbreaks in the country is seven.
Disease control in South Africa’s Western Cape
Despite the country’s prolonged battle against ASF, it is being brought under control in Western Cape. This is according to the province’s agriculture minister, reports IOL.
Earlier this week, the minister Dr. Ivan Meyer announced no ASF cases were detected in the Southern Cape regions of Mossel Bay and George since January. He cited information from veterinary officials that approximately 370 pigs have died of ASF in the region. Despite the drop in outbreaks, the area remains in quarantine. Furthermore, local authorities will continue to undertake carcass disposal and disinfection.
With no effective vaccines against ASF available, the minster stressed the importance of high biosecurity around pig herds. This was also among the key messages of a series of recent ASF awareness sessions in the area, he said. About 120 farmers attended these meetings.
At the end of January, The South African had reported two outbreaks of ASF in Western Cape. These resulted in the death of 78 animals in the municipality of Mossel Bay, and an unknown number in George.
ASF situation in the Caribbean region
So far this year, one ASF outbreak has been confirmed in each of the states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, according to the FAO EMPRES system. These Caribbean states reported their first cases of ASF for decades in April and August 2021, respectively.
This month, agreement was reached between the two countries and the FAO, reported Dominican Today. This aims to improve dialog and cooperation between the technical and political bodies in both countries with the view to control and then eradicate ASF from the Hispaniola island territories.
At the end of last month, Haiti’s veterinary agency officially registered a further 15 ASF outbreaks. According to the OIE notification, these began in the period October 6 to January 19 involving a total of 158 pigs. Affected were one farm and 14 backyard herds in three departments in the southwest and southeast of Haiti.
Latest report to the OIE puts the number of confirmed ASF outbreaks in the Dominican Republic at 124 (up to January 7), with more than 18,100 pigs directly affected.
Of the most recent 25 premises to be affected by the disease, 23 were backyard herds, each with between four and 107 pigs. Also testing positive for the virus were animals at a small farm in November last year. In January, ASF hit a breeding center with around 1,749 pigs.
View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.