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Suspected Swine Fever Kills Hundreds of Pigs in Northern Uganda

Hundreds of pigs in Otuke district have succumbed to suspected swine fever  

Over one hundred pigs in Otuke district, Northern Uganda  have succumbed within three weeks to a suspected African swine fever outbreak.  The cases have been reported in Olilim and Ogwete sub-counties.

The disease that starts manifesting by general body weakness is accompanied by nasal dryness, bleeding and a drop in temperature, which forces the pigs to lay in the sun. The animal normally dies within days.

Geoffrey Onyanga, a resident of Abwonatango in Ogwete parish Ogwete sub-county has lost 7 pigs. Onyanga is worried that he may lose his remaining pigs yet they are his only source of income.

George Ogwete, a resident of Adwari sub-county is worried that the fast-spreading disease might get to his area and kill all his animals.

“I have seen animals dying in some areas from the same kind of disease but it has not yet reached our area. I am not sure my pigs will survive because the disease is spreading so fast and even if you treat them they die a few days after.”

Patrick Akoko, resident of Agwete Cell, Olilim town council has lost 3 pigs even after vaccinating them. He wants the government to provide information on medication and better vaccines.

Benson Omara, the Ogwete sub-county veterinary officer, says that his office has received some complaints from many sub-counties. He says that he wrote a report to the district despite the fact that he can not confirm if it is swine fever.

“I am on the ground and vaccinated the animals. I have fed the information to the district veterinary officer but I want the farmers to know that vaccinating animals is very important. I know some farmers do not want to vaccinate their animals until the disease starts killing animals in their neighbour’s compound.”

He, however, warned the farmers against eating the carcasses of the pigs, saying there is a possible outbreak of the unknown disease in humans.

-URN

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