General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
The Ashanti Regional Director of the Veterinary Service, Dr Emmanuel Edward Effah, has imposed a ban on the transportation and movement of pigs from the Bosomtwe, Atwima Kwanwoma and the Ahafo Ano North Districts due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF).
Over 430 pigs have so far been killed by the ASF leading to the ban in the three districts by the outbreak which recorded a first case in March this year.
Dr Effah explained that the ban was aimed at halting any possibility of transferring the outbreak to other districts and possibly to other parts of the country.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview, the Regional Director said the ban was the surest way of reducing the impact of the outbreak since it could spread and kill hundreds of the pigs within few days of outbreak.
He mentioned the worst affected communities as Tepa, the capital of the Ahafo Ano North District, Amakom and Adjamam in the Bosomtwe District and Hemang (near Santasi) in the Atwima Kwanwoma District all in the Ashanti region.
The Regional Director said to avoid further spreading to other parts of the region, all the affected pigs have been buried and their pens disinfected to avoid further spreading of the ASF.
He said a team of veterinary officers have been put in place to lay surveillance in all districts in the region to detect fresh outbreak for quick action and the right measures to be put in place to avoid further spreading of the condition.
Dr Effah, was however quick to mention that pigs from non-affected districts could continue so that normal sales of pigs could continue.
Mr Effah then allayed fears of people that due to the outbreak they were not going to patronise pork again.
He explained that ASF was not zoonotic (it cannot be transmitted from animals to man), and this made pork very safe to consume without contracting the fever.
The Regional Director mentioned that the only effect of the outbreak of the ASF was the killing of the animal which could lead to high losses to the farmers after they have invested in the animals.
Mr Effah mentioned the establishment of disinfecting barriers in their farms as the best way of preventing the spreading of the ASF which was very prevalent in Africa, adding that most of those who get infected were those farmers who were reluctant to implement the best practices in their farm.
He was worried that although that there had been several efforts by the regional directorate to educate the farmer’s regularly, many of them still refuse to accept some of the practices with the excuse of not having money to buy chemicals.