August 24, 2019 / 11:55 AM / 23 days ago

South Africa sets up task team to prevent spread of African swine fever

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 24 (Reuters) - South Africa has set up a task force to look urgently into ways to prevent the spread of an African swine fever outbreak, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday.

Outbreaks of African swine fever have been detected in four South African provinces since April. The disease is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans. It has spread to China since last year, causing big losses to the world’s largest hog herd.

Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza had met local officials from the affected provinces to find solutions to the outbreak, and a task force had been to combat the disease’s spread, the ministry said.

Didiza urged pig farmers to make sure infected animals were isolated and destroyed under the supervision of an authorised person.

Reporting by Emma Rumney

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