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Livestock Disease and African Food Security A serious problem in Africa today is the emergence of rampant deadly strains of disease that are affecting livestock and ravaging populations of pigs and cattle in many African nations putting food security at risk in many populations of various nations With already major food scarcity issues among many emerging African nations disease will only further pressure an already dire situation for food security in Africa Livestock play important roles in farming systems which provide primarily food and income which is necessary for food security Nearly 12 percent of the world populations rely solely on livestock for its livelihood 4 The latest outbreak of African Swine Fever ASF in the West African island nation of Cape Verde threatens the countrys entire pig population according to a 1996 FAO report The disease has been endemically present in at least part of Cape Verde archipelago since 1985 - with peaks of morbiditymortality twice a year in spring and winter 1 ASF is caused by a particularly resistant virus and is a potentially devastating disease Very few pigs survive infection and those that do are contagious ASF is endemically present in wild pigs in southern and eastern Africa in a cycle including infected domestic pigs soft ticks and wild pigs 1 In various ecosystems of Central and Western Africa there are huge outbreaks of this disease among domestic pigs and the disease occurs elsewhere in Africa In all areas infection is most common as a result of contact with infected recovered or carrier pigs and ingestion of contaminated or infected garbage urine and feces Various strains have occurred in different regions due to the increasing use of non-indigenous pigs which are particularly vulnerable to this Animals are being shipped by road and air and are not being quarantined properly if at all This threatens any country that relies on livestock for food security ASF is an extremely resistant virus and can
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