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Outbreak of swine fever hits Ashanti Region

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The Veterinary Services Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the Ashanti Region has announced an outbreak of African swine fever in parts of the region.
Speaking in an interview with TV3’s, the Ashanti regional director of the department, Dr Albert Kofi Kwansah-Filson mentioned the affected areas as Atwima Nwabiagya District, Atwima Mponua, Bosomtwe District and parts of Afigya Kwabre.
So far, the disease has hit 17 pig farms in the four districts in the Ashanti Region, affecting 4,413 pigs. About 4,129 have died.
As part of measures to control the outbreak and curtailed the spread of the disease to other parts of the region, movement of pig products within, into and out of the affected districts has been banned with immediate effect, TV3 gathered.
The disease, which is known to affect only pigs, is highly contagious and is caused by a virus that produces syndromes from acute to chronic.
It is characterized by a high fever haemorrhages and cyanosis in the skin, loss of appetite and a high mortality rate and there is no vaccine against the disease.
Pig farming is a booming business in Ghana presently due to the high demand for pork, particularly in the Ashanti region.
The Ashanti Regional Director of the Veterinary Services Department called on the affected farmers to bear with them by complying with the directives, although there is no compensation in place at the moment.
Dr Albert Kofi Kwansah-Filson also called on the farmers to improve on their bio-security.
Meanwhile, members of the pig farmers association of Atwima Nwabiagya District, who spoke TV3 are threatening to boycott this year’s farmers day.
According to them, government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture promised to compensate members who have been affected by the African swine fever but nothing has been given to them as compensation.
A pig farmer, Kwabena Ntim, who expressed serious concern about the challenges facing the industry in recent time called on the pig farmers to protect their investment.
By Benjamin Aidoo |TV3 |3news.com

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