On Sunday, the Assam government declared that an instance of African Swine Flu has been detected in the state killing 2500 pigs across 306 districts. During a press conference, the Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora gave the information.
He further assured that it has no relation with coronavirus which has created global pandemic. Mr. 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.”
According to a 2019 census, the pig population was 21 lakh but the number has been increased in recent times taking the total number to 30 lakh. “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 affected by the virus,” he added.
“After testing, we will cull only those pigs which will be found infected. We are avoiding the immediate culling of the pigs. We will take daily updates and will take a decision as and when the situation arises,” he continued.
The minister said Assam will have testing in three laboratories but expressed concern saying it will not be sufficient. The officials have been asked to contact the Health Department for this.
The virus spreads through pig’s meat, blood, and tissue. The minister assured that there is no chance to affect the humans. “However, it never affects humans. There is no problem in consuming pork from the areas where there is no infection. We will conduct awareness and training of farmers. We have selected 13 districts for this purpose,” the minister claimed.