Mizoram, April 22: The Mizoram government has declared certain areas in four districts of the state as the “epicentres” of African Swine Fever (ASF).
The dreaded pig disease has so far killed more than 1,100 pigs in a month, causing a financial loss of more than Rs 4.47 crore.
State animal husbandry and veterinary department joint director (Livestock Health) Dr Lalhmingthanga said that Lungsen village and Lunglei Electric Veng locality in Lunglei district, Armed Veng and Edenthar neighbourhoods in Aizawl, Keitum village in Serchhip district and a locality (Vaipi-I) in south Mizoram Siaha town have been declared “epicentre” of ASF.
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He said that five districts- Aizawl, Lunglei, Serchhip, Mamit and Siaha are currently affected by ASF. Though Mamit district has also reported ASF related pig deaths, it is yet to be declared as the epicentres, he said.
The first pig death due to African Swine Fever was reported at Lungsen village under Tlabung sub-division in the south Mizoram Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh on March 21.
The prevailing pig disease was declared ASF by the government of India on April 16 based on laboratory tests done at the National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory (NISHAD) in Bhopal.
Quoting the department record, Lalhmingthanga said that at least 1,119 pigs have died due to ASF till Wednesday causing monetary losses to the tune of over Rs 4.47 crore.
Apart from Lungsen, ASF related pig deaths were reported at four villages in Mamit districts, one village in Serchhip district, one locality in Siaha town and three localities each in Aizawl and Lunglei towns, he said.
He said that the unusual death of 87 pigs was also reported in Aizawl’s Durtlang locality, Chawngte village in Mizoram southernmost Lawngtlai district and in Serchhip town, which is yet to be verified.
He said that samples of the dead pigs from these areas will be sent to Guwahati for diagnosis. The official said that the government has not undertaken to cull pigs as it involves compensation.
However, some infected pigs were voluntarily culled by the owners as a preventive measure, he said. “The government is currently conducting assessment and a proposal for culling will be sent to the Central government after completion of the assessment,” Lalhmingthanga said.
He added that the government has taken massive containment measures to prevent the pig disease from spreading to other districts. There are 11 districts in Mizoram.
Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura and also international boundaries with Bangladesh and Myanmar. The sources of ASF infection are believed to be from live pigs imported from neighbouring Bangladesh, according to Lalhmingthanga.