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LATEST! African Swine Fever Detected for 1st Time in India; 2800 Pigs Die in Assam Making it the Epicentre of ASF

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

As Assam is fighting with covid-19, here comes another problem in the state of African Swine Fever (ASF). About 2,800 pigs have died in Assam since February as the virus has made the state the epicentre of ASF in India.

What is African swine fever (ASF)?

African swine fever or ASF is a fatal disease in domestic pigs with around 100% mortality rate. It is to be noted that for the first time such a case has been reported in domestic pigs in India.

Assam claims that the virus has come from China same as the novel coronavirus. ASF has killed approximately 60% of China's domestic pigs between 2018 and 2020. Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal has asked the Veterinary & Forest Departments to work with National Pig Research Centre of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to make a broad roadmap to save the state's pig population from African Swine Fever.

As per reports from NDTV, State Animal Husbandry Minister Atul Bora said that the situation is "alarming". The state in its containment plan has decided it would not cull the infected pigs but has implemented "biosecurity measure" which is in line amid the lockdown.

After the outbreak, an expert team was made taking animal scientists within its fold, as Chief Minister Sonowal reiterated on the need to contain & control the spurt of the virus to save the pig industry from this onslaught.

Mr Sonowal held a meeting with the ICAR doctors & Regional Institute of Livestock Entrepreneurship Management (RILEM). They discussed in detail the magnitude of the fever and states strategy to mitigate the problem.

CM Sonowal has also asked the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department to do a 'threat-mapping' & undertake containment measures across the state. Adding to it, he asked the department to find out the total number of entrepreneurs engaged in piggery sector & their financial liability so that government can take steps to declare a bailout package to save them from penury.

As per the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, it is African Swine Flu. According to the 2019 census by the department, the pig population of Assam was 21 lakh, which has increased to around 30 lakh.

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