Skin and Hoof lesions on pigs slaughtered and knowledge of abattoir workers on Tungiasis at Wambizzi Co-operative Society Abattoir, Nalukolongo.
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Skin and hoof lesions on pigs have been rarely studied in Uganda. Although tungiasis has been reported in areas where it frequently occurs, it is not yet clear if tungiasis-infected pigs are sold and brought to the abattoir. This was a cross sectional study carried out between March and April 2018 to establish the prevalence of skin and hoof lesions of pigs slaughtered and knowledge of the abattoir workers at Wambizzi Cooperative Society abattoir, Nalukolongo. The study applied mixed study methods and collected qualitative and quantitative data through abattoir visits made at least thrice a week for four weeks. Systematic random sampling was used when selecting pigs for the study where by every fourth pig slaughtered on the visitation day was sampled. A total of 205 pigs from different districts were examined. Pigs were restrained with the help of an assistant, physically examined; hooves were washed and scrubbed with a brush and water prior to examination, gross lesions summarized onto the data collection sheet with the corresponding photo number. All sampled pigs were found to have at least one lesion. The major lesions detected included Trauma 66% (n=136), Tungiasis 31.2% (n=64), Mange 8.0% (n=16), Hemorrhages of the skin 5.0% (n=10). Others were Skin necrosis 7.0% (n=14), Ulceration 2.0% (n=3), Hyperkeratosis 2.0% (n=5), Swine erysipelas 2.0% (n=4) Sun burn 2.0% (n=5) and Louse infestation 6.0% (n=12). The study showed that there was no association between the prevalence of tungiasis with sex and breed of origin. (P>0.05). Questionnaires were administered to 40 respondents to establish their knowledge and attitude towards tungiasis in pigs. It was established that they were aware and knowledgeable about the occurrence, effect, seasonality, control and treatment of jiggers Overall, the study showed that the prevalence of skin and hoof lesions is high in pigs slaughtered at the abattoir during the study period. Therefore, field animal health workers should be encouraged to carry out on farm clinical investigation and subsequent timely treatment. Pig farmers should also be advised on the proper control measures while routine training of pig handlers on animal freedoms and welfare is also highly recommended. Further studies on seasonal variations and occurrence of tungiasis in pigs in different areas of Uganda are indicated in future surveys.