Meghalaya district imposes curbs to tackle African Swine Fever

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Shillong, May 16 (IANS) District administration has imposed 28-point restrictions and prohibited various activities under section 144 CrPC in Meghalaya’s Eastern West Khasi Hills following outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), officials said here on Tuesday.

The officials said that it has been confirmed that there is an ASF outbreak at the government Pig farm at Nongkasen in the district.

The District Magistrate in a notification said that in order to prevent, control and eradicate the ASF and to prevent the spread of the disease outside the district, the prohibition of various activities and restriction were imposed in the radius of 10 Km from the epicentre of the disease also known as the infected zone.

According to the DM’s order, the restrictions include no movement of pigs, genetic material, meat, feeds, equipment, veterinary medicine from the infected zone into surveillance zones and disease free zones.

The preventive measures suggested include, the pig farm owners and pig handlers shall maintain hygiene and bio-security in pig farms and shall restrict entry of people into farm premises, pig holders shall be advised to confine their pigs within their pig sheds and movement of pigs are allowed.

Meanwhile, last month Tripura government also imposed a ban on the import of pigs and piglets amid sporadic incidents of ASF in different parts of the country including the northeast region.

Tripura’s Animal Resource Development (ARD) Minister Sudangshu Das had said that keeping in view the sporadic incidents of ASF in different parts of the country as precautionary measures, the state government has totally banned the import of pig and piglet from outside the state.

The outbreak of ASF is also reported in few northeastern, southern and northern states of the country and from these diseases hit regions, pig and piglets are being imported often.

The highly-contagious ASF created havoc in Mizoram during 2021 and 2022, killing over 33,400 pigs, affecting over 10,000 families besides causing financial loss of Rs 61 crore.

Around 12,000 pigs were culled in Mizoram in 2021 and 2022.

According to experts, the outbreak of ASF may have been caused by pigs or pork imported from neighbouring Myanmar, Bangladesh and the adjoining states of northeast.

The northeast region’s annual pork business is worth around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore, with Assam being the largest supplier.

Pork is one of the most common and popular meats consumed by both the tribals and non-tribals in the region.

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