African Swine Fever outbreak reported in South Africa

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[May 31, 2018] JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - African Swine Fever (ASF), a severe hemorrhagic disease of pigs, has been reported in South Africa's Northern Cape Province, the department of agriculture said on Thursday.

The new blow to South Africa's pork industry comes as prices tumble after a Listeria outbreak that has killed more than 200 people and was traced to low-priced processed meat from a factory owned by Tiger Brands.

ASF, which is not transmitted to humans, can result in "a great number of the deaths of pigs in a short span of time" and is transmitted by contact with other infected pigs, ticks or from infected swill, the department said in a statement.

The unrelated Listeria outbreak, the biggest ever recorded, is expected to cause around 1 billion rand ($80 million) in losses to the pork value chain due to the changes in consumer perceptions of pork.

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(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Robin Pomeroy)

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