African Swine Fever kills 15,000 domestic pigs in Assam. Image Courtesy – Business Insider
This is the high time when the coronavirus pandemic has taken the center stage in a country like India, another disease has created high alert in Assam killing nearly 15,000 domestic pigs. This disease is called African Swine Fever.
This is why the Assam government has decided to kill pigs on a huge scale to prevent the disease. High alert has already been issued in 10 out of 33 districts of Assam. The state government has also applied to the Center for financial assistance of Rs 144 crore to compensate the farmers who keep pigs.
Atul Bora, Veterinary and Agriculture Minister, Assam told that 10 districts in the state were already been infected with African Swine Fever. The government of Assam expressed worry over the increasing number of deaths of the pig one after another. Samples are being collected from the bodies of pigs located within a radius of one kilometre of the infected area. The infected pigs will then be killed afterwards.
Experts say African swine flu is a deadly threat to domestic pigs. It is spreading into the Arunachal Pradesh after Assam. This deadly disease is transmitted from one animal to another. The disease was diagnosed in February. However, it was first spotted in April 2019 in the Xizang province near the Chinese border of Arunachal Pradesh.
As per the 2019 census performed by the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department of Assam, the number of pigs in the state was 21 lakh, currently, it has increased to 30 lakh.
Atul Bora commented on an interview that the virus used to spread from pig meat, saliva, blood and cells. So the supply of pigs from district to district has been stopped. However, the disease has not yet known to be transmitted to a human. Where there was no infection, there was no problem in eating pork. The minister added that the state government would provide awareness and training to the farmers. Already 13 districts have been selected for this project.
Task-forces have been formed at district and state levels to combat the disease. A containment zone of up to one kilometre of the affected area has also been declared.
It is assumed that the fever, which originated in Africa, spread to Europe and Asia first. Then somehow it transmitted to India. The West Bengal state government has already informed Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar districts in this regard. Pig imports from Assam to West Bengal have been stopped. At the same time, the police administration has been directed to keep a close watch on these five districts of the state.
It has certainly created a panic in people because the whole world is already fighting with a deadly fever since February 2020, and everyone is waiting for a proper vaccine to come for a permanent solution.