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In view of the African Swine Fever afflicting pigs in the state, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on September 23 directed Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department to complete culling of the infected swine population before the ensuing Durga Puja.

Chairing a meeting with Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department in Guwahati, Sonowal said in compliance with the guidelines of the central and state governments and adhering to experts’ opinion, culling of the infected swine population in all the affected districts should be completed before Durga Puja.

As a result of the culling operation, the loss incurred by the farmers will be adequately compensated, Sonowal added.

He also asked Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department to sanitize the affected areas to avert transfer of infection to healthy animals.

Sonowal said the central government has already released the first instalment of the fund and the state government will immediately release its share for the compensation as well as for other measures to deal with the infection.

The meeting also discussed on supply of pigs to Assam from different parts of the country.

In the aftermath of the African Swine Fever outbreak though supply of pigs to Assam from other parts of the country are put on hold, as per the directions of the central government and order of the court, Sonowal asked the senior officers of the department to ensure that no encumbrances creep in while transporting pigs to other states of Northeast through Assam.

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During the meeting, the chief minister also asked the department to conduct survey on all the government farms across the state.

He also said in a move to involve more youths in the piggery sector, the government farms may be operated and managed on public-private partnership to encourage self-employment.

The meeting also discussed the implementation of centre’s flagship scheme of saving the livestock population from foot and mouth disease.

State Agriculture minister Atul Bora also took part in the meeting.

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