By Sarah Munthali
Mchinji, January 25, Mana: The District Agriculture Development Office in Mchinji has announced the outbreak of African swine fever in the district which has affected pigs in Traditional Authority Mavwere.
According to a letter written by the District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO), Precious Chautsi notifying people in the district, 65 pigs have died while 530 pigs are at risk of the disease in six villages.
“We would like to notify you that we are experiencing cases of deaths of pigs noted in Msitu Extension Planning Area (EPA) Traditional Authority Mavwere.
“Villages affected include, Waliranji, Nyongani, Chipata, Chithumba, Chinziri and Mlemba in January 2019,” said the DADO in a letter addressed to the District Commissioner (DC) and other stakeholders in the district.
The communication from the DADO further says after the specimen was sent to laboratories, it was confirmed that the pigs had died of the disease.
Meanwhile, the office has banned the slaughter of pigs and issued an order to restrict movement of pigs from and into the outbreak area for three months to contain the spread of the disease.
“To this effect, we are instituting a ban of slaughter of pigs in Msitu EPA only with effect from 24th January, 2019 to the period when it will be verified that the disease has ceased to be in the area,” says the letter in part.
Speaking to Malawi News Agency (Mana), Assistant District Veterinary Officer, Potiphar Chakana said the office has organised a series of meetings to sensitise people about the disease in the affected areas.
“Our office has just received reports that one pig with signs of African swine fever has died in Kapiri in Traditional Authority Dambe and our officers have gone to check,” he added.
African swine fever virus causes hemorrhagic fever mostly in pigs.