First ever African Swine Fever outbreak in Western Cape confirmed


The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and the Western Cape Agriculture Department, has jointly confirmed an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Western Cape. 

This comes after positive traces of ASF were found on two small-holding farms in Mfuleni, when samples of dead pigs were tested at the ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute. It is reported that about 5% of pigs died on each farm.

Head of Veterinary Services with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services,  Dr Gininda Msiza, says this is the first time ASF has been found in the Western Cape and says any dead pigs must be disposed of effectively as the disease can be spread via any part of a raw pig carcass.

“A ban has been placed on the sale and movement of live pigs from Mfuleni, to limit the spread of the disease. A survey has been initiated by the Western Cape Veterinary Services, to determine the extent of the spread of the disease Mfuleni and the immediate surrounding area. This includes the collection of further samples from any dead pigs from any suspect farm. The origin of the outbreak is still unknown but the clues may be provided by the study of the specific virus detected and by information provided by affected farmers,” the joint statement reads.

The departments say that ASF does not affect humans and pork consumption is safe. However, meat and other animal products from infected pigs pose a threat of infection to other pigs. Guidelines have been provided so that farmers contain the spread of ASF.

“I want to thank those affected farmers for minimising the possible negative impact on trade and sensitising pig farmers in other Western Cape areas. This will help to limit the spread of disease,” Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer said.