Zambian authorities are scaling up the culling of pigs to bring the outbreak of African swine fever under control. The disease has claimed more than 20 000 pigs in the northern part of the country.
Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Michael Katambo said the scale of the outbreak has reached alarming levels, and urged veterinary officers to scale up efforts of containing the disease.
“The situation is alarming, and a big blow to pig farmers in the affected provinces,” Katambo said. So far government has spent more than K2 million to combat the disease.
Strict quarantine measures have been implemented, coupled with a complete trade ban for pork. In addition, authorities had launched community sensitisation campaigns on the dangers of the disease.
Katambo said the outbreak of swine fever in the 2 provinces was a drawback to government efforts of increasing the cattle population of small livestock farmers as a means to moving them from subsistence to commercial production.
He said his ministry would ensure loans were extended to affected farmers as a way of resuscitating pig farming in the northern part of Zambia.