Two more wild boars are suspected to have died from African Swine Fever (ASF), this time in the Gudalur forest division.
According to Forest Department officials, two wild boars, both in the Gudalur forest range, have been found dead since January 6 of this year.
Conservator of Forests (Nilgiris), D. Venkatesh, said that veterinarians from the Department of Animal Husbandry were asked to perform autopsies on the two carcasses, and stated that samples of the animals’ visceral organs have been collected and sent for analysis.
Officials suspect that the animals succumbed to ASF, marking the first cases in Gudalur division, which adjoins Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), where the first outbreak of the disease was reported among wild boars in Theppakadu.
Mr. Venkatesh said that around 30 wild boars have died in MTR since the outbreak last month but added that it had been mostly contained, with no fatalities recorded in MTR since January 9.
“We suspect that it has spread to a few animals in Gudalur and are following the same protocols that were followed in MTR to contain the spread of the viral outbreak,” he said.
Mr. Venkatesh also stated chances of ASF spreading in Gudalur division were lower, due to the lack of interlinked forest habitats. He said the carcasses are being destroyed following the postmortem.
ASF is a cause for concern, as it has a high mortality rate among affected animals. However, humans are not believed to be at risk from ASF. The district administration had imposed restrictions on the sale of meat from domesticated pigs in a 10 km radius surrounding Theppakadu, where the outbreak in the Nilgiris was most serious. There has not yet been any clarification as to whether restrictions will now extend to Gudalur.