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Mhow pig samples go missing

THE MYSTERIOUS disease that has killed over 500 pigs in Mhow over the last fortnight has spawned an equally confounding sub-plot. The urine and saliva samples collected from the afflicted animals have inexplicably gone missing.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 15:27 IST
Saeed Khan

THE MYSTERIOUS disease that has killed over 500 pigs in Mhow over the last fortnight has spawned an equally confounding sub-plot. The urine and saliva samples collected from the afflicted animals have inexplicably gone missing.

Two separate sets of samples were collected from afflicted animals, one by a team of Animal Husbandry Department officials and the other by doctors from Mhow Veterinary College.

Both claim to have forwarded the samples to the High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HASADL), Bhopal. However, HSADL Director General H K Pradhan says he has received no samples either from Indore and Mhow.

As there is a possibility, however tenuous, that the porcine samples may have been infected with the avian influenza, the disappearance is worrying in the extreme.

After the word of the mystery ailment spread, the Animal Husbandry Department despatched a team of doctors from the divisional Disease Investigation Laboratory at Indore to investigate the matter.

The team travelled to Mhow, collected urine and saliva specimens from five pigs that had died the same day, and reportedly forwarded it to Bhopal.

Meanwhile, Mhow administration officials also commissioned a three-member team of doctors from the local Veterinary College hospital to collect samples from the afflicted animals. These, too, maintain hospital authorities were sent to HSADL.

When told that the HSADL had denied receiving any samples from Indore or Mhow, the Veterinary College remained firm and, in fact, claimed that the Bhopal lab had forwarded the samples to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Rae Bareilly (UP).

Director, HSADL, Dr H K Pradhan said: “I can say quite categorically that we have received no samples from either Indore or Mhow. There is no possibility of the samples having reached here without my coming to know of it”.

Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department, R S Shrimali said: “Samples collected at the divisional level are sent first to the State Disease Investigation Laboratory at Jehangirabad (Bhopal) from where they are forwarded to HSADL. There may have been a delay in forwarding the urine and saliva specimens from Jehangirabad, in which case, they will reach HSADL soon”.


As I have said several times earlier the pigs have died of influenza and not of the bird flu virus. There is no proof that the virus has reached Indore. Even the number of deaths has been vastly exaggerated. In Mhow only 50 pigs died but the media reported 500 deaths.

RS Shrimali, Joint Director Animal Husbandry

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 15:27 IST