Within 15 days of reports of the demise of thousands of pigs due to African Swine fever, the Assam government has again made a shocking revelation. The Assam government has announced that the deadly epidemic of African Swine Fever has killed more than 14,000 pigs in the state. The State government decided to cull the pigs on Monday.
Assam’s animal husbandry minister Atul Bora told ANI on Tuesday, “Till now, 14,465 pigs have died in 10 districts, due to African Swine Fever. The government is taking all possible steps to stop the spread of the disease. For prevention of the disease, we are advising farmers deep burial of dead pigs.”
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora said that 14,465 pigs have died in 10 districts of Assam due to African swine flu.— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) May 12, 2020
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The state’s Animal Husbandry department and Veterinary department director Pulin Das has told the news agency IANS that they have no intention to cull the pigs despite the advice of central government. He said, “We have told the central government in case of culling we will have to pay huge amounts to farmers and firm owners as compensation. Thus, for culling we need huge financial support from the central government.”
Kaziranga National Park took measure to avoid infection
In efforts to keep the infection at bay, the Kaziranga National Park authority has dug a 2 kilometres long and six-feet deep trench to protect wild boars from the African Swine Flu infection.
According to the 2019 census, Assam had over 21 lacs pigs, which the authorities say that may have increased to 30 lacs now.
After the ASF outbreak in Assam, all the North-East states have sounded high-alert and asked the people, especially those in animal husbandry business domesticating pigs are told to not bring pigs from other states.
Assam is the largest supplier of Pork with annual Pork business worth 8,000-10,000 crores.
What is African Swine Fever?
The African Swine Fever is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs. This disease can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products. Furthermore, transmission can also occur via contaminated feed and fomites (non-living objects) such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives, equipment, etc., due to the high environmental resistance of the ASF virus.
It is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family, which also infects ticks of the genus Ornithodoros. There’s no approved vaccine against African Swine Fever.
It is important to note that the African Swine Fever is different from the Swine Flu, which can transmit to humans. The African Swine Fever does not spread to humans and hence it poses no danger for human health. Although it will have a huge economic impact on pig farms in Assam.
Earlier Assam had banned Pork sale in affected areas, closes slaughterhouses
Earlier Minister Bora had informed that the ASF was reported in the Dhemaji, Sivsagar, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, and Biswanath districts. From 1964 on April 25, the death toll had reached 2262 in Assam in just three days.
The state of Assam banned the purchase and sale of pigs and pork in the affected areas, closed slaughterhouses, and also banned movements from pig farms.