Nearly 1 million pigs killed due to African Swine Fever in Nigeria #AfricanSwineFever #Pigs #Nigeria
Hundreds of thousands of pigs have been culled by Nigerian farmers in response to an explosion of African swine fever (ASF). The outbreak began around Lagos and parts of neighbouring Ogun state earlier this year, pig farmers say, but has now spread to many other parts of the country.
In the absence of official data, farmers who spoke to the Guardian estimated that nearly a million pigs had been put down so far. Mrs Bello, a farmer at Lagos-based Oke-Aro, the largest pig co-operative in west Africa, who preferred not to give her first name, said the co-operative alone had culled around 500,000 pigs. So far the virus has spread to more than a quarter of Nigeria’s 36 states.
In the past decade, ASF has regularly surfaced in several parts of Africa. Between 2016 and 2019, more than 60 outbreaks were reported across the continent.
But the recent wave of infections is the worst by far. “We have never experienced anything of this scale in the past. This is the worst and largest outbreak ever,” says Ayo Omirin, a pig farmer at Oke-Aro, who has lost more than 600 of his 800 pigs.
Another farmer, Lawrence Adeleke, who had been in the pig business for decades, recently died. The outbreak struck his farm in April, his son Adeleke Adedayo told the Guardian. Within two months, nearly all of the 100 or so pigs had died and the pens were shut down. In 2007, when a similar outbreak hit the farm, only three of nearly 100 pigs survived.
“When he returned from the farm the day we lost the last set of pigs, he stopped talking to anybody for three days. He was always absent-minded and withdrawn,” said Adedayo. “He only spoke about the losses in the farm. He talked about all his labours for many years vanishing in a few days. He felt he was too old to start all over again. We all felt helpless. On the morning of 2 June, his birthday, he died.”
The farmers who spoke to the Guardian estimated that the pig industry in the country has lost up to 20bn naira (£40m), and that more than 20,000 jobs are at risk. The outbreak comes at the same time as coronavirus, which has infected 17,148 people and led to 455 deaths, according to figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Courtesy of theguardian.com