African Swine Fever: After Covid-19, another disease from China hits Assam; 2,500 pigs dead
The government will announce a bailout package after taking stock of the situation to save the farmers from penury, Chief Minister Sarbanands Sonowal said.Updated: May 05, 2020 11:22 IST
The African Swine Fever (AFS) has gripped Assam which is already battling the Covid-19 outbreak. And its growing spread has alarmed the state government.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday asked the veterinary and forest departments to draw a broad roadmap to deal with the situation caused by the disease which has killed around 2,500 pigs.
He asked officials concerned to conduct ‘threat-mapping’ and undertake containment measures across the state.
The government will announce a bailout package after taking stock of the situation to save the farmers from penury, he said.
On Sunday, Veterinary Minister Atul Bora had said the disease was detected towards the end of February this year, but it started in April 2019 at a village in Xizang province of China bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
“We have decided to not go for culling now. We will create containment zone within 1 km radius of infected area and surveillance zone within 10 km,” he said.
According to a 2019 state census, the pig population was 21 lakh, which has increased to around 30 lakh at present, Bora had said.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, ASF is a severe viral disease affecting both domestic and wild pigs. It can spread by live or dead pigs and pork products.
Transmission can also occur via contaminated feed and objects such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives and other equipment. Unlike Classical Swine Fever (CSF), there is no vaccine for ASF.
While swine flu can spread from animals to humans, swine fever does not, and therefore is not a public health threat.
“The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, has confirmed that it is African Swine Fever (ASF). The central government has informed us that it is the first instance of the disease in the country,” Bora said on Monday.
He also visited the Regional Institute of Livestock Entrepreneurship Management (RILEM) and ICAR-National Research Centre on Pig in Rani along with Sonowal.
Bora also said that there is no possibility of getting infected by ASF due to consumption of pork and pork products.
Usually stray pigs get infected with such viruses, but of late those in the farms have also been found afflicted with the disease.
The animal husbandry department initially started administering classical swine flu vaccine but it was stopped due to the scare that the disease could spread through the doctor.