Culling of pigs continues in the ASF-affected areas in Idukki

Animal Husbandry department officials receive test results that confirmed ASF in private pig farms at Karimannoor and Vannappuram panchayats

November 21, 2022 08:16 pm | Updated 08:16 pm IST - IDUKKI

As many as 50 pigs in two farms where the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak was detected were culled in Idukki on Monday.

On Sunday, Animal Husbandry department (AHD) officials received test results that confirmed ASF in private pig farms at Karimannoor and Vannappuram panchayats. The ASF was confirmed in a farm at Nellimala under Karimannoor panchayat and Pattayakkudi in Vannappuram panchayat.

Nishanth M. Prabha, Idukki district epidemiologist, said that nearly 50 pigs were culled in the ASF-affected farms and the culling process was under way. “ It has been decided to cull all the pigs within a one-kilometer radius of the ASF-affected Karimannoor, Kanjikuzhi and Vannappuram panchayats,” said Mr Prabha.

“The ASF mainly spreads through waste-carrying vehicles and the farm owners have been asked to ensure the cleaning and hygiene of the pig farms,” said Mr. Prabha.

After confirming the ASF in the district last week, the AHD officials culled 262 pigs from eight farms under Karimannoor, Alakkode and Edavetti panchayats.

After the reported ASF outbreak, the Idukki District Collector banned the transportation of pigs. The sale of pork through shops in the region was also banned and so was the transportation and handling of pig meat, excreta, and other items relating to the pig farms through border check posts in the district. The 10-kilometer radius area of the panchayats would under observation, said the Collector.

According to officials, there was no possibility of the virus getting transmitted to humans directly, but it was very contagious among pigs. Culling and disposal of carcasses would be done in a very scientific manner.

The District Collector directed the District Animal Husbandry Officer to submit a report on whether the pigs had been transported to other areas from the affected farms over the last two months.

According to AHD sources, officials suspect the disease to spread to more parts of the district. “ The samples from Vazathope, Kanjikuzhi, Vandanmedu, Peruvanthanam, and Kumaramangalam panchayats were sent for tests. We suspect that some farm owners shifted the pigs from their farms to other areas, resulting in spread of the disease,” said the source.

“If more outbreaks were found in other parts of the district, mass culling of all pigs in the district will be carried out to prevent the disease,” said the source.

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