Pig deaths reported in Tinsukia, swine fever fear grips people
TINSUKIA: After some pig deaths were reported from across Tinsukia district during the past one week, panic has gripped farmers about suspected outbreak of swine fever. Though veterinary officials did not rule out the deaths due to swine fever, they also cited other reasons like weather change, bacterial disease and non-vaccination. So far suspected swine death has been reported from Dangori, Balioni, Araihmuria, Tinsukia town, Liaka, Beshakupi and some interior areas in the district.
Though the veterinary officials undertook extensive vaccination programme only after arrival of 1,500 samples in all areas where infection has been reported, Dr Debananda Gogoi, Tinsukia district veterinary officer, said that piggery farmers hardly reported about pig deaths and many a times it became difficult to ascertain the cause of death as villagers had the practice of eating the carcasses. With more than 85,000 pigs in the district, vaccination is possible only in infected areas, observed Dr Gogoi.
In a bid to dispel fear and misconception that the pigs infected with swine fever might cause swine flu in humans, Dr Gogoi said that the infecting viruses for both the diseases were different and the department was also simultaneously carrying out mass awareness programme to allay their fears, besides advising the farmers to follow vaccination rules. He also lamented that some stories published in local vernacular dailies were not based on facts and often had exaggerated figures, which not only demoralized the field staff but also created panic among the masses.