Swine Fever: causes, symptoms and more
Equip yourself with the knowledge you need to keep your pigs safe from swine fever. This highly contagious disease causes painful fevers and speedy death in pigs. Dealing with this disease is a traumatising experience that no farmer wants to go through. The best approach is for you to implement a strategy that protects your pigs. Find all your essential pig farming equipment for sale on AgriMag.
Who is affected by swine fever?
This disease effects warthogs and bush pigs. Both domestic and other wild pigs are also at risk for swine fever. Infection typically results in death for domestic pigs, but other types of pigs may be sick without displaying any symptoms. Pigs of all ages can contract this disease. Swine fever is commonly found in the following areas:
● North West
● Northern regions of KwaZulu-Natal
While pigs are at high risk for this disease, you don’t have to worry about yourself or your family getting infected. Swine fever isn’t transmitted to humans but it’s still not advisable for you to eat the meat of infected pigs. There is no cure for swine fever and it kills almost all pigs that get infected.
Know how to recognise the disease
Do you know how to recognise the signs of swine fever? The knowledge can help to prevent the suffering and death of more pigs by preventing the disease from spreading. Infected pigs may have a fever and stop eating. They may also find it difficult to breathe. If you notice that your pig’s eyes, tummy, legs, or nose are red, this is also cause for concern. Pregnant pigs that are infected with the disease may abort. Other symptoms include depression, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhoea. You’ll notice that your pigs die soon after they get sick it kills pigs within 2 to 10 days. As this disease is highly contagious, it can eliminate entire herds of pigs. In some instances, the virus can result in less severe symptoms, but deaths can still fall between 30% and 70%.
Strategies to protect your pigs
● Avoid feeding kitchen waste to pigs as it can spread disease. Scraps of meat from infected pigs can kill your animals. While it’s advisable for you not to feed your pigs kitchen scraps at all, legally this waste must be boiled for an hour prior to being used as food for your pigs.
● If you notice signs of swine fever in your pigs, get them tested immediately.
● If you live in a region of South Africa that has high swine fever infection rates, you’ll need to have pig-proof camps so that your animals are kept away from wild pigs. Ticks in these regions also present a risk.
● Avoid purchasing pigs from areas where there is an outbreak
How do pigs get swine fever?
Your pigs can get sick from other infected pigs. Even just being in the area where infected pigs have been can result in your pigs contracting swine fever. Ticks from infected wild pigs also put your animals at risk. The Animal Disease Act stipulates that any potential cases of swine fever must be reported immediately. A veterinarian will then test the pigs to verify whether they have swine fever or not. While there are no vaccines for the disease, prevention strategies include quick diagnosis, quarantines, and the correct disposal of infected meat. Comprehensive cleaning of infected farms is also crucial. Movement controls and surveillance is also put in place to prevent the disease from spreading. Import policies prevent the introduction of infected meat into regions that are free from swine fever. If you think that your pigs may be sick, don’t sell the meat as this will result in the disease spreading.
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