Waste management specialists supervised safe removal of carcasses from Mfuleni and transportation to a safe and secured site where carcasses are processed into a safe compost. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Waste management specialists supervised safe removal of carcasses from Mfuleni and transportation to a safe and secured site where carcasses are processed into a safe compost. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Fears calmed over disposal of pig carcasses who died from swine fever

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Mar 23, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - Following fears of disease after the recent swine fever outbreak in Mfuleni at the beginning of this month, provincial veterinary services head Gininda Msiza has said that the dead pigs were safely disposed of.

Msiza said the virus, which can be spread via any part of a raw pig carcass, does not affect humans.

The assurance comes after a recent yet to be peer-reviewed study by researchers from China and the UK said it was possible that an outbreak of swine fever in China may have set the stage for Covid-19 to take hold in humans.

The scientists said in their report: “Disease detectives, including a team from the World Health Organization, are still following the trail, but many suspect Sars-CoV-2 probably originated in bats and spilled over into humans, possibly through an intermediary animal.”

Msiza said: “Waste management specialists supervised safe removal of carcasses from Mfuleni and transportation to a safe and secured site where carcasses are safely processed into a safe compost.”

Ordinarily Msiza said that most farm animals tended to be disposed of by burial.

He said: “It is easier to dig a hole and sink the beast. With vast amounts of open space this tends not to be a problem. Also this happens away from populated areas.

“However, recent provincial legislative framework outlaws animal burials without authorisation. This is done to control environmental pollution and protect our precious groundwater.

“Remember that during drought situations when dams are low, ground water has proven to be our lifeline. A stiff fine and possible jail time awaits transgressors.”

Tears animal rescue fund-raising and marketing head Lara Black said: “Dead animals that are not cremated are buried at a municipal landfill in Muizenberg that is historically used for the disposal of dead pets. The only two options available are landfill burial and cremation.”

Retired vet Deon de Beer said: “In the province, Vissershok is the only hazardous waste dumping site that can be used for dumping animals.

“The problem with those carcasses is that there is the danger of birds picking up disease and carrying it to other areas.

“Dumping is a problem. If you see how the Earth is getting destroyed by us humans and what we just went through with Covid-19, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that soil pollution is kept as low as possible.”

Cape Argus

Share this article: