As there has not been a noticeable or confirmed outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) among domesticated pigs in the Nilgiris, the district administration has permitted the slaughter and sale of pork outside the 10 km “infected zone”, where the outbreak has been confirmed. Previously, the sale of pork had been banned.
Speaking to The Hindu, Bhagavath Singh, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry (Nilgiris), said that ASF has been confirmed only among wild boars in and around the Theppakadu area in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR). “Inspections have been conducted at pig farms and there have been no spikes in mortality rates among animals in the farms,” said Dr. Singh.
As there have been no signs that the viral infection has spread to domesticated pigs in the district, farms rearing pigs outside the infected zone are allowed to slaughter and sell the animals, he added.
Nilgiris District Collector, S.P.Amrith, said that there were 19 farms outside the infected zone in the Nilgiris, where around 1,200 animals are being raised. “The owners can ensure that the pigs are healthy and can continue their business,” said the Collector. He added however that the inter-state transport of pigs outside the Nilgiris to neighboring Kerala and Karnataka and vice-versa remains banned.
Officials from the Department of Animal Husbandry stated that all pig farms in the district continue to be monitored to ensure that there is no spread of the infection to domesticated pigs.