Pig farmers in Ogun State have pleaded with the state government to come to their aid in mitigating losses following an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), which is currently ravaging the state.
The call was made by a representative of the Piggery Association of Nigeria’s, Ijebu North East chapter while speaking with journalists. According to the association, ASF outbreaks is a major threat to pig farmers , costing them thousands of pigs and incurring huge losses for the business .
African swine fever was first discovered in Kenya in 1921; it’s a highly contagious viral hemorrhagic disease afflicting pigs that is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids.
Its symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, skin hemorrhages, vomiting, and reproductive failure. Affected pigs have a variable mortality rate of 5-100 percent depending on acuteness, while surviving pigs become carriers of the virus.
Samuel Ogunsanwo, the president of the association, said it is the first time farmers have witnessed the disease in their area, reiterating that it has been seen in the Ijebu North, Ijebu Ode, and Ikenne Local Government Areas of the state.
Ogunsanwo supposed that in the local area alone, pig farmers lost several millions of Naira to ASF, between June and July this year, adding that some farmers have been hospitalized as a result of the loss.
If you get to this farm three weeks ago, it was lively with the sound of 1,300 pigs but today its pigpens are silent after all of the animals were wiped off following the outbreak of African swine fever.”.
Speaking on the issue, State Commissioner for Agriculture Samson Odedina, said that the state has stepped up advocacy to enlighten farmers on preventative measures to stem the spread of the disease and that veterinary officers in the various zones have been visiting affected farms.