Johann Kotzé, the CEO of the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) was part of a delegation that met with the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development (DALRRD) yesterday about the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in the Eastern Cape last week.
Kotzé said that the delegation was satisfied that DALRRD and the Eastern Cape Veterinary Services are doing everything in their power to prevent the spread of the disease and that the situation is well-monitored and managed.
The outbreak occurred in five villages in the Amathole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape. The area has been quarantined and no pigs are allowed to move into, through or out of the area. Follow-up investigations by provincial veterinary services are underway to determine the extent of the outbreak.
SAPPO will coordinate a communication strategy in conjunction with stakeholders such as Agri SA, Agri Eastern Cape and DALRRD. The communication strategy is aimed at small and commercial farmers, extension officers, agents, abattoirs, consumers and other stakeholders.
An awareness campaign among small farmers in the area is on its way. This includes the distribution of pamphlets and videos in English and Xhosa, radio interviews and advertisements, information in local newspapers and discussions with traditional leaders and other parties to use their networks to distribute information.
“SAPPO believes that the ASF outbreak is also an opportunity to reassure consumers of the safety of pork and of pork producers’ high production and welfare standards,” Kotzé says.