Authorities in Tanzania have slapped a temporally ban on sale and eating of pork in at least five (5) districts due to the outbreak of swine fever, local media reported on Sunday.
The minister for Livestock and Fisheries Mashimba Ndaki announced the ban on sale and eating of pork meat in Geita, Misungwi, Kahama, Kyerwa, and Mbogwe districts following the deadly outbreak reported in the country in December 2020.
The disease reportedly broke out in the region in late December and the minister said authorities have since banned the sale of pork to protect consumers.
According to an official report from Kahama district Commissioner Anamringi Macha, 500 pigs have so far died due to the outbreak of Africa Swine Fever (ASF) in Kahama district alone.
“The district authorities in collaboration with the central government are working hard to ensure that the disease is controlled before it spreads to neighboring districts and regions,” said Mr Macha.
It is the first significant outbreak in the country since March 2018 when the disease claimed the lives of over 900 pigs in the southern Tanzania region of Ruvuma.
African swine fever is a highly fatal viral hemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs that threatens livelihoods and food security. In Africa, ASF virus (ASFV) circulates in sylvatic (transmission between warthogs and soft argasid ticks) and domestic (transmission between domestic pigs) cycles, with outbreaks resulting from ASFV spill-over from sylvatic cycle.
A number of outbreaks have been severally reported in different parts of Tanzania since 2015, posing a serious threat to livestock in the country and region if the threat is not controlled.