Punjab to get UK piglets meant for northeast states now hit by African swine flu
The animals, to be distributed among Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, which had come up with a special pig breeding policy, will now be sent to PunjabUpdated: Jun 04, 2020 18:38 IST
Patiala About 250 high quality piglets imported from the United Kingdom (UK) under the National Livestock Mission for the northeastern states are now being sent to Punjab due to an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The NLM under the Union department of animal husbandry and dairying had imported 262 piglets from the UK in February for the northeastern states for high quality pig breeding in India. As per the programme, the animals were to be distributed among Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, which had come up with a special pig breeding policy.
However, after the highly contagious ASF claimed the lives of hundreds of pigs and wild boars in the northeast, the NLM changed plans and Punjab was entrusted with the task of caring for them and to continue the breeding process.
The animals, which at present are quarantined at the Animal Quarantine and Certification Service Centre in New Delhi, will be housed in government piggery farms in Punjab.
Preparing to welcome them, the department of animal husbandry has initiated a sanitisation drive at Patiala district’s Nabha piggery farm, an innovative pig breeding centre.
Dr Inderjit Singh, director, Punjab animal husbandry department, said a formal communiqué from NLM to keep the animals in Punjab had already been received. “We have admitted to the terms and conditions of the project, which is completely sponsored by the NLM, while the department will provide all logistics to carry high-quality rearing of pigs in Punjab.”
Pig farming to get a boost
The move, he added, will give a boost to pig farming in the state with large-scale breeding of high-quality imported breeds of pigs in the coming years.
“We have planned to shift these animals to pig farm at Nabha in Patiala district and have started creating space to accommodate them,” Singh said.
The department has already deployed special teams on deputation kick start the process to move the animals.
Dr Ravi Bhushan Gaba, the animal husbandry department’s deputy director at Patiala said sheds and pigsties were being built at the Nabha farm. “Due to ASF, we are being extra cautious. Sanitation drives are being carried out daily at the farm which is designed for highly productive piglet breeds and extension activities.”
ASF advisory issued
The animal husbandry department has already issued an ASF advisory. “Though no case has been reported in Punjab so far but the pig farmers have been alerted about the animal disease, which is turning deadly in the northeast states,” Gaba said.
ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever. No medicine or vaccine cure has been developed as yet.
Experts believe that the disease has a 100% of case fatality rate (CFR) among pigs.