By Jay Tumwesige
An outbreak of African swine fever has been confirmed in Kyenjojo district.
According to the District Veterinary Officer, Dr Godfrey Kahuta, movement and slaughtering of pigs in the district has been banned for the next three months so as to contain the disease.
Kahuta said that some of the most affected Sub-counties include Katooke, Butunduzi, Nyankwanzi, Kyarusozi, among others, although he didn’t reveal the exact number of pigs that have since died.
“There is a confirmed outbreak of swine fever in some Sub-counties of Kyenjojo district so we have stopped any movement of pigs so as to contain the disease,” Kahuta said.
Lillian Kabasomi, a resident of Butunduzi Sub- county and piggery farmer, said that the outbreak of the disease has greatly affected her business.
“Last week I lost 10 pigs I had not known that it was swine fever until I heard the announcement on a local radio, in which the district officials declared a ban on the movement and slaughtering of pigs,” Kabasomi said.
Kabasomi added that she was worried that all her pigs might die because she is not yet aware of the control measures other than keeping her pigs in a pigsty.
Kyenjojo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Isaac Kawonawo, said that he has already conducted some sensitization meetings in affected Sub-counties telling farmers that the first step to preventing the spread of the disease is to ensure no movement of pigs.
Kawonawo also said that with the help of police, they have closed all pork joints in the district for three months.
“I have instructed the police and other security agencies to ensure that all pork joints are closed and no pig is sold in Kyenjojo,” Kawonawo said.
Dr Kahuta said they are going to start a massive campaign of sensitizing all farmers in the district to on how prevent animals from getting infected because the disease has no cure, with mortality rates or up to 80 percent.
“The disease has no cure and it’s mortality rate is very high so farmers should be careful and follow our instructions,” Kahuta said.
However, the disease outbreak has led to an increase in prices of pork in several parts of Fort Portal, since Kyenjojo is the major source of pigs that are slaughtered and sold at most joints in Fort Portal.
A kilogram of pork has recently doubled from Shs10,000 to 16,000 at several pork joints around Kabarole.
African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and exhaustion in pigs.
The disease is highly infectious and infected pigs must be killed and their carcasses buried or incinerated.