Task team established to curb spread of African swine flu

24 August 2019 - 14:35 By TimesLIVE
A task team has been set up to try to curb the spread of African swine flu in several of the country's provinces.
A task team has been set up to try to curb the spread of African swine flu in several of the country's provinces.
Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A task team has been established to urgently investigate how to curb the spread of African swine flu of which there is an outbreak in several of the country’s provinces.

This was announced after a meeting in Pretoria on Friday between the minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza, and MECs from three provinces affected by the outbreak.

“The minister’s meeting was aimed at getting a briefing on the status of the African swine flu outbreak in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West provinces.

“The meeting attended by senior managers from, the affected departments and the national department, looked at various ways of dealing with the outbreak and finding a permanent solutions,” Didiza’s spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo, said.

“We have to look at various options such as institutional arrangements working with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and also reflect on the issue of animal commonages in the affected areas,” said Didiza.  

Ngcobo said the minister and the MECs had set up a task team to urgently look into ways to curb the spread of the disease to other provinces.

South Africa has been experiencing African swine flu outbreaks in domestic pigs from 2012. Since April this year there have been outbreaks of the disease in the North West, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Free State provinces.

The affected areas are Daveyton in Gauteng, Delmas and Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga and Marikana in the North West. There have been interventions to contain the spread of the disease, such as active surveillance and awareness carried out in the immediate vicinity, and passive surveillance is still ongoing, according to Ngcobo.

"The minister has urged pig farmers to make sure that infected animals are isolated and destroyed under the supervision of or by an officer or authorised person.

"Minister Didiza also urged officials to make sure that the spread of the ASF is quickly managed." 

“We will be engaging with the ministers of finance and of cooperative governance and traditional affairs to ask for their assistance to quickly respond to this challenge” said  Didiza.