African swine fever outbreak reported in South Africa

31 May 2018 - 13:39 By Reuters
African swine fever cannot be transmitted to humans.
African swine fever cannot be transmitted to humans.
Image: esvetleishaya / 123RF Stock Photo

African swine fever(ASF), a severe haemorrhagic disease of pigs, has been reported in the Northern Cape, the department of agriculture said on Thursday.

The new blow to South Africa's pork industry comes as prices tumble after a listeria outbreak that has killed more than 200 people and was traced to low-priced processed meat from a factory owned by Tiger Brands.

ASF, which is not transmitted to humans, can result in "a great number of the deaths of pigs in a short span of time" and is transmitted by contact with other infected pigs, ticks or from infected swill, the department said in a statement.

The unrelated listeria outbreak, the biggest ever recorded, is expected to cause around R1-billion in losses to the pork value chain due to the changes in consumer perceptions of pork.