Mizoram: Over 9,000 pigs have died due to African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to wreak havoc in Mizoram, with 10 out of 11 districts currently affected by the dreaded swine fever. Over 9,000 pigs have died in three months, according to the state’s animal husbandry and veterinary science department.

According to data released by the department on Sunday, at least 152 villages or local areas in 10 districts are currently affected by ASF, which has claimed a total of 9,172 pigs since March, causing monetary losses to the tune of over Rs. 36.68 crore.

Besides, the unusual death of 699 pigs was reported outside ASF infected areas, it said. Though the cause of death is suspected to be ASF, it is yet to be confirmed, the department added.

The official data also said that 1,078 pigs have been culled so far to prevent the disease from spreading further.

The first pig death due to an unknown disease was reported at Lungsen village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh on March 21.

After testing negative for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) and Classical Swine Flu (CSF), the pig samples were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD) in Bhopal, which confirmed the cause of pig deaths as “ASF” on April 16.

Also Read: Meghalaya governor writes to Amit Shah over ‘mysterious’ death of 2 Garos in Gurugram

Though the spread of ASF in Lunglei district now became less severe, it began to ravage Aizawl district, which borne the brunt of the pig disease with 3,454 pig deaths so far, according to the department joint director (livestock health) Dr Lalhmingthanga.

So far, the ASF has killed 3,092 pigs in Lunglei district, 684 in Mamit district, 939 in Serchhip district, 320 in Lawngtlai district, 334 in Khawzawl district, 83 in Hnahthial district, 257 in Champhai district, 8 in Saitual district and 1 in Siaha district, he said.

Only Kolasib, which borders Assam, is the ASF-free district in the state, he said. Lalhmingthanga said that a special diseases investigation team, which visited Lungsen village during April 5-8 found that pigs are illegally imported from Bangladesh through villages like Tipperaghat and Khojoysury located near the Bangladesh border.

Illegal pig traders use Lungsen village as a stock point for keeping the animals before moving them to Lunglei market, he said.

He said that the president of the Rolui village council informed that the outbreak of an unknown disease killed several pigs in Bangladesh villages along the India border in February 2021.

Lalhmingthanga further said that the ASF outbreak in Aizawl district and east Mizoram’s Champhai district is believed to be caused by pigs or pork imported from Meghalaya and Myanmar respectively.

He added that the state government will urge the Centre to give compensations to the culled pigs.

Atul Bora urges Centre to withdraw directive allowing transportation of pigs to Assam

Almost 31 disease epicentres have been notified for the African Swine Fever in the State

Guwahati: State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora has urged upon the Union Minister of AH, Dairying & Fisheries Shandilya Giriraj Singh in a letter requesting him to withdraw the Centre's directive, which allowed inter-state transportation of pigs to Assam.

As per Government notification, it was stated that the inter-state movement of the pigs from states of Haryana and Punjab to the North-Eastern states is allowed subject to certain conditions.

The State Minister in his letter had stated that presently the entire state of Assam is badly affected with the impact of floods and the floodwaters are yet at the high-level marks and are expected to recede only in the early part of August 2020.

Bora also informed that almost 31 disease epicentres have been notified for the African Swine Fever in the state and as per standard protocol the entire one kilometre area is declared as a CONTAINMENT ZONE and as an extended area of 10 kilometres is declared as the buffer zone for surveillance where aggressive sampling and testing is done and the sale, transportation and rearing practices are closely monitored and regulated.

Moreover, due to the very high mean flood levels, the feasibility of deep pit burial for the disposal of the carcasses is not there, therefore, the decision to allow for pork or movement of live pigs from Haryana and Punjab is a seriously retrograde measure, Bora suggested.

The government of Assam is now taking extensive steps to educate the farmers on the focus for containment of African Swine Fever and also took harsh steps to prevent the sale of pork, transportation of pigs to ensure that there is no further spread of the disease, Bora informed.

Meanwhile, Bora also spoke to Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, on the recent directive of transportation of pigs to Assam from other states & the time frames in regards to the culling of pigs to contain ASF.

Also Read: CM Sonowal visits flood-hit areas in Kamrup