Pork lovers in the country can now heave a sigh and enjoy the delicacy despite the outbreak of the deadly African swine fever in parts of Ghana as veterinary experts say the disease does not affect humans.
Outbreak of the disease in three districts of the Ashanti Region and parts of the Upper East Region has caused veterinary officials to begin the killing of affected pigs to control and contain the disease which has no known cure.
The disease has caused consumers to dread eating pork for fear of contracting the contagious disease but veterinary officials have allayed those fears. Upper East Regional Veterinary, Dr Patrick Abakey, explained the disease “won’t kill you. Human beings don’t suffer from African swine fever.”
The swine fever is a devastating infectious disease. No vaccine exists to combat this virus that is transmitted through direct animal contact or dissemination of contaminated food.According to the European Union, the disease “does not affect humans nor does it affect other animal species other than pigs and wild boars”.
Though it does not affect humans, Dr Abakey said the need to kill the affected animals for proper disposal is aimed at curtailing the disease from spreading from one farm to the other, something he said could have serious consequences on people’s investment.
Movement, slaughtering of pigs and its products to and from the affected communities have consequently in Ghana has been banned as a measure to control and curtail the spread of the swine fever Last year, the disease hit the Ashanti Region and over 6,000 pigs were killed, something that affected the pig business and livelihood of over 21 pig farmers in the region.