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North Eastern states step up vigil to fight African swine fever

North Eastern states step up vigil to fight African swine fever
GUWAHATI/SHILLONG/AGARTALA, APR 29 (IANS) | Publish Date: 4/29/2020 11:52:26 AM IST

Even as novel coronavirus infections in northeast India are comparatively under control so far, the eight North Eastern states are staring at a new threat -- African Swine Flu (ASF), which is suspected to be behind the mysterious deaths of hundreds of pigs.

Animal resource experts in North East suspect that the highly contagious ASF came to the region from Tibet in China through Arunachal Pradesh.

Besides Assam and Meghalaya, other states governments have sounded a high alert and asked people, especially owners of piggeries, to refrain from bringing pigs from other states.

Assam Agriculture and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora confirmed the deaths of over 2,260 pigs in state’s six districts due to suspected ASF, with authorities waiting for confirmatory reports from the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal.

Bora said: “The pigs are dying of a foreign virus and we guess that it may have come from Tibet in China...”

The Assam government had on April 25 banned the procurement and sale of pigs and pork, shut all slaughterhouses and banned movement of people associated with piggeries from one place to another place,” Bora said. According to 2019 census, the population of pigs in various Assam farms was 21 lakh.

The Meghalaya government has already banned the transport of pigs from outside the state after the deaths of pigs in some districts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. According to animal resource experts, pigs generally are affected by Classical Fever, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), besides the ASF. In Aizawl, Mizoram Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Department officials said that the recent outbreak of PRRS disease in Mizoram has been contained. Fresh PRRS cases were reported in Mizoram in January and February after some pigs imported from neighbouring Myanmar were found infected.

Nagaland bans import of pigs

DIMAPUR, APR 29 (NPN): In view of the reported outbreak of “African Swine Fever” and high mortality of pigs in the neighbouring states, the state government has imposed ban on import of pigs from outside the state with immediate effect. 

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