ASF forces cull of hundreds of thousands of pigs in Nigeria’s ‘largest outbreak ever’

Hundreds of thousands of pigs have been culled by Nigerian farmers in response to an explosion of African swine fever (ASF), according to reports in The Guardian and the Independent.

The current outbreak has hit Nigeria’s largest pig co-operative, Oke Aro Farm, where over 300,000 pigs have been killed according to a worker at who told The Guardian more than 500,000 pigs had now been culled at the co-operative alone.

Whilst there is no official data, the farmers who spoke to the Guardian estimated that nearly a million pigs had been put down so far.

The farmers who spoke to the Guardian estimated that the pig industry in the country has lost up to 20bn naira (£40m), and that more than 20,000 jobs are at risk. The outbreak comes at the same time as coronavirus, which has infected 17,148 people and led to 455 deaths, according to figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The recent wave of infections is the worst by far according to Ayo Omirin, a pig farmer at Oke-Aro who has lost more than 600 of his 800 pigs. Mr Omirin said: “We have never experienced anything of this scale in the past. This is the worst and largest outbreak ever.”

Whilst there is no official vaccine for the virus, tests on a domestically-developed vaccine for ASF on pig farms in three provinces in China have shown significant progress in recent weeks, according to a state media report posted on the agriculture ministry’s website.

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