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Contribution of market value chain to the control of African swine fever in Zambia

Siamupa, C., Saasa, N., Phiri, A. M.
Tropical animal health and production 2018 v.50 no.1 pp. 177-185
African swine fever, biosecurity, farmers, food safety, interviews, managers, market value, markets, meat inspection, mortality, police, pork, questionnaires, screening, slaughterhouses, stakeholders, supply chain, swine, trade, Zambia
African swine fever (ASF) is a worldwide disease of pigs endemic in most sub-Saharan African countries. Zambia has been experiencing outbreaks of ASF for many years because the disease is endemic in the eastern part of the country, with incursion into the central part of Lusaka Province. The latest outbreaks of ASF in Lusaka occurred in 2013 with substantial pig mortalities, loss in trade, and cost of control measures and compensation of affected farmers. The aims of the study were to identify market value chain-related factors that were associated with ASF outbreaks and assess why these outbreaks are becoming frequent despite control measures being put in place. Using a mixed-method design, participants involved in the value chain were purposively sampled. Some pig farmers were included using a respondent-driven technique. Farmers came from Lusaka, Chilanga, Kafue, and Chongwe districts. Other participants included district veterinary officers, veterinary assistants, police officers, and veterinary staff manning veterinary checkpoints, abattoir and processing plant managers, meat inspectors, market chairpersons, and traders. Semi-structured questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and direct observations were used to collect data to come up with narrations, tables, and flow charts. In assessing the contribution of the value chain in ASF, aspects of ASF screening, market availability and procedures, knowledge on ASF transmission, occurrence of ASF outbreak, and regulation of pig movement were investigated. Despite government ASF control measures being applied, the following were noted: (1) low awareness levels of ASF transmission among pig farmers and traders; (2) only 50% of farmers had their animals screened for ASF before sale; (3) all the markets did not have the pork inspected; (4) laxity in enforcing livestock movement control because of inadequate police and veterinary staff manning checkpoints; (5) lack of enforcement of meat inspection and food safety regulations at pig markets; and (6) inadequate and bureaucratic ASF screening. Improving biosecurity; sensitizing farmers, traders, and all stakeholders in the pig value chain on ASF prevention and control; reinforcement of staff at checkpoints; and regulation of pig markets are some of the ways in which future outbreaks can be prevented.