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ASF Kills Minimum of 500 Pigs in Amuru

by 5m Editor
2 November 2011, at 9:07am

UGANDA - At least 500 pigs in Amuru District have succumbed to the highly contagious African swine fever, a disease that mainly affects pigs.

Joseph Otim, a resident of Lamogi is counting his losses after 10 of his pigs succumbed to the disease in the past one month, saying he was keeping them to help him pay his son's school fees. "I saw my pigs die of the disease but I could not do much to help the situation. I am now left with a few of them which I am also not sure of their survival," he said.

The disease, according to the Amuru District Veterinary Officer, Dr Bathlemeo Okwonga broke out in the district about three months ago. He added that it is believed to have originated from Adjumani, a nearby West Nile district that has been experiencing the disease.

Dr Okwonga said the disease has been so intense in the sub-counties of Atiak, Pabbo, Lamogi and Amuru that border West Nile region. He added that in the past one week, the death rate of the pigs has declined.

According to AllAfrica.com, he attributes the outbreak to the free movement of the animals in area without proper restriction guidelines in place.

"Management of pigs' movement is still a problem because people don't respect quarantine which is leading to more infections," he said. "As many pigs die there's reduced interaction among them that leads to the reduction of the spread of the disease," said Dr Okwonga.

Meanwhile, in the nearby district of Gulu, quarantine has already been placed to stem any possible spread of the disease. The district production coordinator, Dr Okidi Ochora, told journalists yesterday that they do not want to take chances as the same disease almost depleted pigs in the district about six months ago. "Several Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries check points have been staged at various spots in the district to arrest illegal dealers in pigs," he said.