African Swine Fever kills 25,260 pigs in Mizoram; causes Rs 121 cr loss

Aizawl, Sep 1 (IANS) Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Mizoram since March has killed around 25,260 pigs in all the 11 districts of the northeastern state, officials said on Wednesday.
Officials from the state Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department also said that AFS has led to a financial loss of over Rs 121 crore so far.
In view of the contagious disease, over 9,460 pigs have been culled so far to prevent it from spreading further among the healthy pigs.
An official said that in mid-March, the first pig death was detected at Lungsen village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district. The villagers had reported that the pigs were imported from adjoining Bangladesh.
When the samples of the dead pigs were sent to the Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, it was confirmed that the pigs died due to ASF.
According to the officials of the department, the ASF outbreak has been reported in at least 239 villages in all the 11 districts across the state.
The officials said that of the 11 districts, Aizawl is the worst-hit where around 10,780 pigs have died, followed by Lunglei (4,135), Serchhip (3,500) and Mamit (2,880).
According to experts, the outbreak may have been caused by pigs or pork imported from neighbouring Myanmar, Bangladesh and the adjoining state of Meghalaya.
The northeast region’s annual pork business is worth around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore, with Assam being the largest supplier. Pork is one of the most common and popular meats consumed by the tribals and non-tribals in the region.
According to some experts, humans don’t get infected by ASF, which was first detected in 1921 in Kenya. However, they could be the carriers of the virus.
No vaccine is available for the virus till date.
Outbreaks of various diseases, including ASF and foot-and-mouth disease among animals, mostly livestock, occur in different states of the northeastern region almost every year.
The northeastern states have asked people, especially owners of piggeries, to refrain from bringing pigs and piglets from other states and neighbouring countries, especially from Myanmar.

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