African Swine Fever threat to food security, says expert

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Animal husbandry specialist, Professor Abiodun Adelia, called for more effective control and enhanced supervision in the pig industry to stop the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF).

ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs. All age groups are susceptible.

The disease, which spreads across international borders, has crippled the livelihood of pig producers, as production systems rely on agro-industrial by-products to create their high-quality products of animal origin.

Adélie said that the rapid spread of the disease throughout Africa also poses a threat to the pig industry in Nigeria.

He said that the disease has serious financial consequences, especially for smallholder pig farmers where outbreaks have occurred.

Adeloye, a former dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Ilorin, said that it is necessary to constantly improve the best practices at all levels of the dairy supply chain.

He urged national efforts to help develop disease control strategies for pig farmers, including more stringent bio-security on farms.

Possessing a high virulent form of the virus, ASF is characterized by high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs, and an average death of 2-10 days. Mortality can reach 100 percent. The organism that causes ASF is a DNA virus from the Asfarviridae family.

ASF is a disease listed in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and should be reported to the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

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