TINSUKIA: In piggery sector no major outbreak of epizootic diseases has been reported, except sporadic cases of classical swine fever like disease syndrome, claimed Dr Debananda Gogoi, Tinsukia District Veterinary Officer, in the backdrop of sudden upsurge of pig death in neighbouring districts like Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji, sending an alarm bell ringing among the pig farmers across the State.
According to official source, treatment-cum-ring vaccination has been carried out in affected areas. While 1,500 piglets have been already vaccinated in prone areas, another 1,700 doses are being kept ready for contingency immunization. In addition, the District Disaster Management Committee of the department is ready to move anywhere in the district as and when necessary, the source informed, adding that there was no scarcity of animal feed in the district with veterinary department extending all support for door-to-door vending of livestock commodities as per COVID-19 guidelines.
Around 25-30 quintal pork meat is being sold in Tinsukia district alone and it is a major source of sustenance among rural masses. The ban imposed on the sale of piggery items will add further hardship during the lockdown period. A source said it would be difficult to check slaughtering of pigs in tea gardens and in interior rural areas bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
Casting apprehension at the latest development, a progressive piggery farmer said that if the cause of large-scale death of pigs was established to be of foreign origin as reported in media and if the government decided to take drastic action, including mass culling of pigs, it would prove to be a disaster for the State economy by facilitating big players from outside the State like Punjab and Karnataka to capture the lucrative piggery market in Assam, as had happened in Nagaland.