“We learnt about the outbreak from Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division who told us that the disease was discovered in our neighbouring district of Mzimba, particularly Bwengu area which is close to us.
“Following the tip-off, that is when we discovered that some of the areas in our district have also been affected where dozens of pigs have died due to the outbreak.
“This is the reason we have issued the ban to control the spread of the disease in the district,” he said.
Kumwenda said 121 pigs have been killed by the outbreak in Mhuju Extension Planning Area (EPA) while six have been killed in Chiweta and four in Bolero EPAs so far.
He said his office has embarked on sensitisation campaigns in hotspot areas of the disease for people to stop buying pork and restrict movement of pigs to control the spread of the disease to other areas.
Kumwenda appealed to communities in the district to comply with the ban and the corresponding pieces of advice for it to be lifted earlier, saying failing which the ban may go beyond the minimum period of six months.
One of the pig traders at Rumphi Boma, Peter Kawonga, said the ban will affect livelihoods of pork sellers in the district.