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African swine fever: Assam told to go for culling

In this May 2019 picture, pigs stand in a barn at a pig farm in Jiangjiaqiao village in northern China's Hebei Province. (representational image)   | Photo Credit: AP

Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora on Sunday said the Centre has advised the State government to go for the culling of pigs affected by the African swine fever (ASF).

“After a lab in Bhopal attributed the death of thousands of pigs to the first-ever case of ASF in the country, we have been told to cull the animals in the affected areas,” Mr. Bora said.

“We have been told to divide the affected areas into zones and go for culling accordingly. The situation is quite serious since there are many farmers with more than 20 lakh pigs.”

The Minister said the disease was first reported in November-December 2019 from areas of China bordering Arunachal Pradesh. Pigs in the eastern part of Assam started dying in mid-April.

“On the brighter side, the rate of infection has flattened a bit in the past couple of days. Data collected from the affected districts says about 2,500 pigs have died and the infection is more among the animals that are not confined to sties but allowed to move about,” Mr. Bora said.

Veterinary officials said a few organised piggeries have been affected and the possible carrier could be humans.

“In Dhemaji district, an organised farmer has lost many of his 250 pigs. Investigation revealed that a few pigs reared in a non-confined environment by one of his employees had died a few days before. This could be an indication that humans could carry the virus that causes ASF,” Mr. Bora said.

The health of people working in the farms where pigs have died is being monitored, officials said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 11:28:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/african-swine-fever-assam-told-to-go-for-culling/article31495025.ece

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