ARUA, UGANDA: More than 300 pigs have died from African swine fever in Terego, Arua city, and Arua district.
African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease of pigs and wild boars that usually presents with symptoms of high fever, decreased appetite and weakness, red blotchy skin lesions, diarrhea, vomiting among others.
In Invepi refugee settlement in Odupi sub county, Terego district, more than 60 pigs died last month while in Arivu sub county in Arua district, over 100 pigs have died this January. In Offaka sub county at Ejimbara market near the border of Arua district, Madi Okollo, and Zombo district, more than 100 pigs have died.
Other places where the African swine fever has had a toll on pigs include Ogoko in Lower Madi Okollo, Lia and Adumi in Ayivu West, Arua city where pigs are brought from the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC and sold in Ugandan markets.
Dr. Willy Nguma, the Principal Veterinary Officer for Greater Arua said due to the ravage caused by the disease, they have banned export and import of pigs to and from DRC, restricted further movement of pigs within West Nile, put strict surveillance on major pork joints and introduced night patrols and animal checkpoints on major roads.
Laban Ovua, a pork dealer in Arua city says due to the outbreak of African swine fever, he has restricted the purchase of pigs to only farmers within Arua who access veterinary services and stopped buying pigs from places like Rhino Camp, Odramacaku, and in Terego district.
Ovua adds that although there is a general fear about African swine fever, the supply of pigs and consumption of pork has not been affected.
Nelson Alema, another pork dealer in Onduparaka says that due to the outbreak of Swine Fever, they have temporarily stopped buying pigs from Lia and Odramacaku markets instead they look for pigs within Arua city to slaughter.
“When I heard of the outbreak of the disease, I immediately told my boys to look for animals within but the challenge now is their prices are a little higher, which has also forced us to increase the price of a kilo to 14,000 from 13,000 Shillings,” said Alema.
According to records from Uganda Veterinary Association-UVA, this month cases of African Swine Fever have also been experienced in the districts of Mukono and Masaka and the case of the West Nile region has been worsened by the dry season which offers good ground for predisposition of diseases which hibernate.
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