African Swine flu detected in Assam, 2,500 pigs killed in 306 villages

GUWAHATI: The Assam government on Sunday said the first instance of African Swine Flu has been detected in the north eastern state which has already killed around 2,500 pigs across 306 villages.

Despite a go-ahead from the Centre, the state will not resort to culling of the pigs immediately and will adopt alternative mechanisms to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease, state Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora said.

“The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal has confirmed that it is African Swine Flu (ASF). The central government has informed us that it is the first instance of the disease in the country,” he said.

According to a 2019 census by the state department, the pig population in Assam was 21 lakh, but it has increased in recent times to around 30 lakh, the minister said.

“We have discussed with experts if we can save the pigs without culling them. The death percentage of the pigs affected by the disease is almost 100 per cent. So we have made some strategies to save the pigs, which are not yet affected by the virus,” Bora said.

He, however, said the disease has not spread much yet.

The minister added that 2,500 pigs have died due to ASF across 306 villages in seven districts in the state.

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