Rumphi District Animal Health and Livestock Development Office has issued a ban on slaughtering and movement of pigs and pig products following an African- Swine-Fever outbreak in the district.
District Animal Health and Livestock Development Officer, Harvey Kumwenda said the disease has no vaccine and cure, hence the ban.
“We learnt about the outbreak from Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division who told us that the disease was discovered in our neighbouring district of Mzimba, particularly Bwengu which is close to us.
“Following the tip, that’s when we discovered that some of the areas in our district have also been affected as well where dozens of pigs have died due to the outbreak.
This is the reason we have issued the ban to control the spread of the disease in the district,” Kumwenda said.
He said Mhuju Extension Planning Area (EPA) is the worst hit followed by Chiweta and Bolero EPAs.
“Mhuju Extension Planning Area (EPA) has a recording of 121 pigs killed by the outbreak followed by Chiweta EPA where six cases have been recorded while Bolero EPA has recorded four cases so far,” he said.
Kumwenda further said his office has embarked on sensitisation campaigns in hotspot areas of the disease for people to stop buying pork and restrict movement of pigs to control the spread of the disease to other areas.
“Currently, we are moving around the affected areas telling them to stop buying pork or any product from pigs.
“They should also stop moving their pigs from one place to another because doing so would spread the disease,” he cautioned.
The livestock development officer, therefore, appealed to communities in the district to comply with the ban and the corresponding pieces of advice for it to be lifted earlier, saying failing which the ban may go beyond the minimum period of six months.
One of the pig traders at Rumphi Boma, Peter Kawonga, said the ban would affect livelihoods of pork sellers whose majority solely rely on slaughtering of pigs and selling of pork.