An animal production specialist, Prof Abiodun Adeloye, has called for more effective control and increased surveillance in the piggery industry to curtail the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF).
ASF is a highly contagious haemorrhagic 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 quality animal products.
Adeloye said the rapid spread of the disease throughout Africa was also a threat to operators of piggery in Nigeria.
He said the disease had serious financial implications, particularly for small pig farmers where outbreaks occurred.
Adeloye, a former dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin, said there was a need for the continuous improvement of best practices across all levels of the dairy supply chain.
He urged for a national effort to assist in developing disease-control strategies for pig farmers, including stricter on-farm biosecurity.
With high virulence forms of the virus, ASF is characterised by high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs, and death in 2-10 days on average. Mortality rates may be as high as 100per cent. The organism which causes ASF is a DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family.
ASF is a disease listed in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code and must be reported to the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.