Luapula Province Veterinary Officer Dr. Mofya Musalwa has disclosed that over 1,000 pigs have died in the province from the African swine fever.
In an interview with ZANIS in Mansa today, Dr Musalwa says the disease which broke out in October this year has mainly affected Samfya and Mwense districts.
He explained that in Samfya district alone where the outbreak was first reported, over 1 000 pigs have died and the number is likely to go up.
Dr. Musalwa says his office suspects that the disease, which is a viral one and contagious, must have been brought in the province from the neighboring districts.
He added that the disease has no treatment or vaccine and that the only way to control it is by killing all affected pigs and regulate the movement of pigs in the province.
Dr. Musalwa discloses that the Ministry of Livestock and fisheries in the province is conducting awareness campaigns and is also sensitizing headmen and pig farmers on the disease.
He further says the Ministry is considering de-populating pigs in affected areas as one way of controlling the outbreak.
Meanwhile Dr. Musalwa says a ban on the sale of pig products in the province has been enforced and will remain effective until the African swine fever is under control.
He says the ban which also includes movement of pigs and pig product is aimed at containing the outbreak and that people should avoid eating pigs which die on its own.
Dr. Musalwa explains that his Ministry is working the council and the police to ensure that the public comply with this ban.
He has since appealed to pig farmers in the province to report any suspected cases of African swine fever.