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Failure to Investigate Suspected African Swine Fever Frustrates Gulu Farmers

Nairobi Onyuta, a farmer who lost all his pigs to the strange disease says that three more pigs belonging to his neighbours died over the weekend after contracting the disease whose cause is still a mystery to them.
An Outbreak of suspected African Swine Fever has killed hundreds of pigs in Kitgum
Piggery farmers in Gulu are frustrated over the failure by the authorities to investigate the suspected cases of African swine fever. 

The disease was first detected in late February. It has escalated and so far killed 47 pigs in the villages Boke –Ber, Olwo and Lul in Pagik Parish, Paicho Sub –County in Gulu district. According to the farmers, pigs die with foams in their mouth and reddish ears and abdomen.

Nairobi Onyuta, a farmer who lost all his pigs to the strange disease says that three more pigs belonging to his neighbours died over the weekend after contracting the disease whose cause is still a mystery to them.

Onyuta revealed that his several calls to the veterinary officer in –charge of Paicho Sub –County to investigate the strange disease has remained fruitless since the officer never showed up saying he is busy, something that has left them frustrated.

He said they also alerted the Gulu District Veterinary Department for intervention but they were only criticized for not vaccinating their pigs.

Johnson Kilama, another piggery farmer of Kal-umu Village in Paicho Sub –County revealed that out of his 30 pigs, 26 died of the disease suspected to be African swine fever. He says access to the District Veterinary Officer about the diseases is very hard since he rarely responds to their calls.

Kilama added that they have been buying medication to treat their pigs from private service providers but that the medications are not only expensive but also ineffective.

Phillips Ongwec, the Chairman of Pagik Parish in Paicho Sub –County in his area alone, 47 pigs have so far died and that only farmers practising indoor farming method have their pigs alive.

He appealed to the district authorities to respond matter immediately since farmers are eating the carcasses of their pigs that died of the disease.

Alfred Opiyo the Gulu District Veterinary Officer revealed that his office has not yet been informed about the disease and that he shall make follow up on the issue.