World Animal Protection has issued a statement on Wednesday in response to news of the African Swine Fever outbreak in Nigeria, which is predicted to kill a quarter of all pigs in the world..
Dr Victor Yamo, Farming Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection says:
“We are facing unprecedented times with the outbreak of zoonotic diseases. The explosion of African Swine Fever in Nigeria has tragically seen over a hundred thousand pigs cruelly culled at farms.”
Dr Yamo said it’s a worldwide crisis with “appalling reports” that large numbers of pigs have been deliberately “drowned, burnt or buried alive” in countries where there have been outbreaks.
“In China alone, more than a 100 million pigs have died since 2018 and it is now estimated that a quarter of the global pig population will die as a result of the African Swine Fever epidemic.
“This is a clear indication that we will need to rethink our food system. We can achieve our goal of food and job security without further intensification of livestock farming.
Pigs are living, breathing beings who feel pain, fear and suffering
“Pigs are living, breathing beings who feel pain, fear and suffering. There are internationally accepted methods of culling that ensure pigs are humanely handled and killed,” said Dr Yamo.
He says those pigs that are confirmed dead should be disposed of responsibly rather than dumping their bodies in rivers, sea or similar places which only spreads the disease further.
“Proper disinfection of facilities, equipment and people should also be of utmost priority to help stop the spread of the disease that is devastating not only the global pig population, but also the livelihoods of farmers worldwide.”
Dr Yamo said: “We absolutely condemn inhumane practices, which also increase the chance of the disease spreading. There is never an excuse for cruelty on farms or during slaughter. We must ensure no undue suffering or fear to these animals, who are already affected by ASF.”