LAKHIMPUR: Due to African Swine Fever, pigs reared for commercial purposes are still dying at an alarming rate in Lakhimpur district. With regard to the coronavirus contagion scenario, though the district has been declared as green zone from orange zone of late, the outbreak of the African swine fever has worsened the situation across the district with its adverse effect on the piggery entrepreneurs.
Along with the other parts of the State, African swine fever has taken the lives of hundreds of pigs in various villages under Dhakuakhana subdivision and North Lakhimpur subdivision. Under the Dhakuakhana subdivision, the highest number of pigs died in Amlakhi Dangdhara village in the last week. According to information from the affected pig rearers, a lot of pigs of hybrid species died in the village on the same day due to African swine fever, which has broken out across the region for the first time. In the village, total 312 pigs were infected by African swine fever and died due to the disease. Similarly, many pigs reared by common animal rearers and other piggery entrepreneurs of the district died in various villages under both subdivisions during the past few days. Even the burial of the carcasses of the pigs has posed a big problem in several villages under Dhakuakhana subdivision.
This unexpected situation is like a bolt from the blue for the pig rearers who have taken up pig rearing by taking loans from commercial banks in order to become self-employed.
Regarding the issue, while asked, Lakhimpur District Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Officer Bhaben Kakati said that the infection and spread of the disease was under control in the district.
"A total of 620 pigs died till Monday in the district due to the infection. There is no medicinal remedy for the disease. No vaccine for it has been discovered as yet," stated the District Veterinary Officer. He further asserted that the District Veterinary Department had adopted precautionary measures to bring the disease under control.
"We advised the pig rearers to separate the infected animals from the non-infected ones. We also told them to restrict the entry of other persons to their farms. Our department is conducting awareness programmes in the affected villages under the district," he added.
However, the affected pig rearers have appealed to the State Government and Veterinary Department to extend a helping hand to make up for their heavy loss. In this regard, they have called upon the government to consider their economic crisis due to the prolonged lockdown.