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African swine plague could spread across the globe

Takemore Chikwesa

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JOHANNESBURG -The latest epidemic of the acute hemorrhage malady affecting pigs has been reported in the Heilbron area in the province of Free State as revealed by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The disease was also detected in Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga in the previous month. The department of Agriculture put quarantine measures in place and the probing of  tracing the genesis of the outbreaks were carried out. This could be a blow to both pig farmers and  bacon and pork meat lovers .The World Organisation for Animal Health describes African swine fever as a severe viral ailment affecting wild and domestic pigs which can cause major economic and production losses.

It is feared that this could escalate global meat prices. There is no approved inoculation  for African swine flu,the disease is incurable in pigs and harmless to human beings. The African Swine Fever(ASF) epidemic has led to slaughtering of more than one million pigs in China,according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

According to Financial Times China’s pork imports are expected to soar and and the pork prices will rise. African swine fever is decimating myriads and myriads of China’s pig herds. Historically the outbreaks have been reported in South America, Africa, parts of Europe and the Caribbean in both domestic and wild pigs.

The transmission and spread of the ASF is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family which also infects ticks of the genus Ornithodoros per the World Organisation for Animal Health. China is the largest consumer of pork which is a staple food for the prodigious majority of its 1.4 billion populace.

Analysts reveal that there isn’t enough pork in the world to cover China’s anticipated deficit and all consumers are likely to turn to other meats as substitutes. According to government’s prediction, the price of pork could skyrocket to record levels in the second half of 2019 as demand engulfs supply.

 

Takemore, is a former technician who studied Journalism with UNISA .Acquired experience in journalism since 2012 working for Dopota Star magazine as a senior correspondent in South Africa and also worked for The Durbanite online publication.I am ardent ,workaholic,a bookaholic ,optimistic and an inquisitive journo with a knack for investigative journalism.

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