At least 1 000 pigs have died from African swine fever (ASF) in Zambia’s Luapula Province, provincial veterinary officer dr. Muswala Mofya confirmed.
In another development, Western Province has recorded 49 cases of human anthrax, with 1 fatality, suspected to have been transmitted through contaminated meat.
Mofya told www.africanfarming.com that a decision has been taken to conduct a large-scale culling exercise in the areas affected by ASF. It is estimated as many as 3 000 pigs would be culled. “To contain the disease, we are destroying pigs which have been on contact with infected pigs,” he said.
The disease was first detected in October in Mwense, 150 km from the provincial capital Mansa, and had spread to Samfya. Authorities suspended the movement of pigs from affected areas and imposed a ban on the sale of pig products.
Mofya said additional measures to culling include sensitising communities and livestock farmers on the disease.
Meanwhile Western Province public health officials have stepped up campaigns to dissuade local populations from consuming meat from cows suspected to have died of anthrax.
“We have seen an increase of human anthrax cases, and we are appealing to the public not to eat meat from cows that have died on their own as they might have been infected with anthrax,” said provincial public health officer, Jacob Sakala.