African swine fever has been confirmed in pigs in Assam, state Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora said on May 2 in Guwahati.
Talking to reporters, Bora said, “The samples sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal have tested positive for African swine fever. The Institute had sent the report to the Centre May 1 and it was forwarded to us late last night”.
“There were no known cases of African swine fever in India earlier. We suspect that this epizootic virus has entered our state from Arunachal Pradesh as the first suspected deaths of pigs were reported from Jonai, which is a bordering town of Arunachal Pradesh,” he added.
Bora said an expert committee has been formed to advise the government on the steps to be taken to tackle the situation, emphasizing that ‘the interests of the people associated with pig rearing is of paramount importance to the government’.
A meeting with pig farmers’ associations and pig farmers has been convened tomorrow to take into consideration their opinion on measures to tackle the situation.
The minister pointed that the state has to follow the Centre’s protocol in dealing with the situation, which is mostly culling under specific circumstances, but the measures have to be taken in such a way that the losses to the pig farmers are minimum.
The sale and movement of pigs was already restricted in several districts of northern and eastern parts since last several days after the first reports of mass death of pigs were reported.