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African Swine Fever spreads to wildlife in Mizoram

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Aizawl: A senior official informed on Saturday that African Swine Fever (ASF) has now spread to wild animals in Mizoram, and vaccination is the only way to contain the virus, PTI reported.

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department Joint Director (Livestock Health) Dr Lalhmingthanga informed PTI that the Mizoram government has decided to request the Centre to import vaccines against the killer pig disease from Vietnam.

He said, "Samples extracted from carcasses of wild boars found in two forest areas in Champhai district were sent to the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal. It has recently confirmed that they died of ASF."

According to him, carcasses of two female pigs and a young one were found in forests six kilometres from Leisenzo village in Champhai district on July 19. More carcasses of wild pigs were found in the Samthanga area in the same district.

Earlier, the disease was detected only in farms and households in the state.

The official said, "It is now believed that the disease cannot be eradicated through the existing containment measures being taken according to the National Action Plan as the outbreak is now considered endemic."

"Vaccines (against ASF) are available in Vietnam, but the Centre's approval is required to import them," he said.

The state animal husbandry and veterinary department on Thursday released stats that 9,891 pigs and piglets were found dead due to the ASF outbreak since February 2022. Further, the administration culled a total of 8,486 pigs and piglets to prevent the spread.

According to data, 43,308 pigs and piglets have died, and over 19,300 have been culled since March last year.

The fresh outbreak is reported in at least 134 villages and localities in 10 districts.

The disease was first reported on March 21, 2021, in Lungsen village in south Mizoram's Lunglei district, which borders Bangladesh.

Though ASF is not dangerous to human health, it leaves devastating effects on pigs and the farming economy. Recently, the disease was detected in other states such as Assam, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) terms ASF as a highly contagious fatal disease in pigs. It was first detected in Kenya, East Africa, in 1921.

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TAGS:African Swine Fever Mizoram pigs virus wildlife Centre vaccination Vietnam Assam Jharkhand Uttar Pradesh Kerala 
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