Some of the slaughtered piglets
The deadly African swine fever has finally hit pig farms in the Brong-Ahafo Region, forcing farmers within the Tano South District to kill over 500 pigs and piglets as the surest way of controlling the disease.
Pig farmers from Duayaw Nkwanta, Susuahu, Koforidua, Twemwaa and Suwaahu Nkwanta, all in the Tano North District of the region, have been affected. Speaking to DAILY GUIDE on phone about the outbreak, one of the farmers from Koforidua, Peter Kofi Aniing, stated that he has so far lost 32 of his animals, and if no solution comes quickly from the Agriculture Ministry, he might lose the remaining ones.
He explained that the only means of controlling the disease is by slaughtering the animals as prescribed by veterinary officers in the district, revealing that over 500 pigs have so far been slaughtered since the outbreak a week ago.
According to him, the outbreak has since been reported to veterinary officers at Duayaw Nkwanta and Sunyani, adding that though veterinary officers have come to inspect the farms and prescribed drugs to them, “the situation is still rising”.
Mr Aniing explained that the disease became evident when they realised that the animals have rashes on their skins, houseflies hovering around their lower eyelids, nausea, among others.
He stated that veterinary officers originally advised them (farmers) to slaughter the diseased animals, but later prescribed Queencide and Ominicide drugs to buy from the market to treat them, but all to avail.
Another farmer, Ofori Ishmael at Suwaahu Nkwanta, added that he used to have 165 animals but the disease has since killed 160, leaving only five.
He mentioned that they were asked to immunise those pigs which are not yet affected “but not for those which are already suffering from the disease.”
Ofori Ishmael has called on the Ministry of Food & Agriculture to come to their aid, so that they would continue with their pig farming businesses after three months as assured by the experts.
The Tano South District Veterinary Officer, Katrina Dankwa, when contacted on phone, hinted that the disease has not yet been confirmed. She added that the confirmation can only come from the regional directorate, promising that would be done next week after samples of the carcasses have been sent to the laboratory for investigation.
FROM Daniel Y Dayee, Tano North