African Swine Fever kills thousands of pigs in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, India #AfricanSwineFever #Assam #ArunachalPradesh #India
Bidarva Rajkhowa, a pig breeder, is a worried man these days. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t keep the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) away from his Rajkhowa Pig Breeding Farm in Lakhimpur district of Assam, which he had set up in 2008.
On May 13, the disease reached his farm. Initially, two sows and two piglets died from the disease on his farm. Subsequently, the disease spread to such an extent that Rajkhowa had to take the tough decision of culling 32 of his animals to contain the spread to nearby farms. His farm is said to be the first commercial pig farm in Lakhimpur district to be affected by the disease.
Speaking to Mongabay-India, Rajkhowa said: “Since news started coming out about pigs dying from ASF in Assam, I took all the possible measures to increase bio-security and maintain hygiene in my farm. Despite that, the disease has entered my farm. We have buried the carcasses of the pigs that have died, as per protocol, and we are also disinfecting the place regularly. But still, more and more pigs have started showing symptoms of the disease. They have stopped eating.”
“I have got 305 pigs on my farm. I have isolated the animals showing symptoms but if the virus reaches the rest of them, I will be ruined,” rued Rajkhowa, adding he imported pigs from Nepal and he is now facing a loss of Rs. 52 lakh.
Lakhimpur is one of the 10 districts in Assam that have been affected by ASF.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the infections in domestic pigs in northeast India (Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) are the first occurrences of the disease in the country.
Courtesy of india.mongabay.com