Dozens of pig farmers in Masaka District are counting their losses following an outbreak of African swine fever that has claimed a number of animals in the area. African swine fever is a contagious viral infection that spreads rapidly in pigs. It is passed to animals through a vicious cycle between soft ticks and wild pigs and direct contact with infected pigs.
Mr Lawrence Mayanja, the Kabonera Sub-county veterinary officer, confirmed the outbreak on Tuesday, saying a number of animals in the area have so far died and the disease is still spreading. He revealed that the outbreak has been confirmed in the parishes of Kabonera ‘B’, Kiziba, Kasanje and Kyamuyimbwa and parts of Rakai District. Mr Mayanja told Daily Monitor that the infection has persistently spread due to farmers’ reluctance to adhere to preventive precautions put in place.
“Despite the quarantine that bars pig movement in the area, dealers still sneak into the affected areas and smuggle the infected animals to other places of the district,” he said. Mr Mayanja revealed that members of the Masaka District Pig Farmers’ Platform have also sought the intervention of the International Livestock Research Institute to devise means of curbing the problem. He urged residents to avoid buying pork from selling points that they are not sure of.