The African swine flu scare has returned to Kottayam after a brief lull.
According to District Collector P.K. Jayasree, new cases of virus infection have emerged from two pig farms at Uzhavoor panchayat. In view of the finding, steps have been initiated to cull all 66 pigs within 1-km radius of the affected farms. The culling operations will be followed by an anti-infection drive at these locations.
All locations within 1-km radius of the affected farms have been declared as infected areas and the regions within 10-km radius declared as surveillance areas. The supply of pork from the affected areas has been banned for the time being.
An inquiry has been launched to ascertain whether pigs from the affected farms were transported to other farms in the past two months.
Task forces have been constituted in the affected areas by mobilising members of the police, Animal Welfare departments and local body secretaries. The Collector has also directed animal welfare officers to initiate immediate action upon finding new cases of infection.
Directions have been issued to the Veterinary department to deploy animal welfare officers if the viral infection is found in pigs from other areas.
African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease found in domestic and wild pigs. It can spread through direct contact or otherwise. At the same time, it is not transmitted to humans.