15 epicentres of African Swine Fever detected in Assam this year
The African Swine Fever was not as furious in the first part of 2023 as it is now.
GUWAHATI: The African Swine Fever was not as furious in the first part of 2023 as it is now. With the increase in temperature, the number of epicentres of the viral fever has slowly risen to 15, with the latest one detected at Naharanigaon in the Lakhimpur district. A few days ago, veterinarians did detect another epicentre in the district.
According to sources, veterinarians have noticed the thriving of the viral fever in the state during the summer. The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department had to cull 1,116 pigs in 14 of the 15 epicentres detected so far. Apart from culling, as many as 830 pigs died of the viral fever in 14 epicentres. The department is now in a culling operation in the newly detected epicentre at Naharanigaon in the Lakhimpur district. The number of pigs culled in the epicentre will come to the fore only after the completion of the drive.
After the culling of pigs in two government piggeries at Rani in the Kamrup (M) district last year, the department has not detected any more epicentres in Guwahati.
According to sources in the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, since its outbreak in 2020 in the state, the department has detected as many as 135 epicentres, leading to the culling and death of 48,921 pigs in the state so far. While the department culled 5,722 pigs, 43,199 of them died of the viral fever. This fever has no cure. Any pig infected with this virus has no chance of survival. The number of pigs that died of the fever is greater than the number of pigs that the department culled. In some places, the administration could not carry out the culling operation due to the non-cooperation of the farmers, who had the wrong notion that their pigs would survive. The government has a provision to compensate the affected farmers after culling at a rate ranging from Rs 2,200 to Rs 15,000 fixed by the Central Government based on the size of the animal. However, the meagre amount often fails to lure the farmers.
The compensation comprises a central share and a share from the state government. Some of the pig farmers in the state have not received compensation for their culled pigs. During the recent visit of Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairing Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan to Assam, State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora requested that he (Balyan) release the central share of the compensation to the pig farmers.
According to the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs in all age groups. This fever is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.
The ban on the import of pigs into the state still persists.