Fresh outbreak of African Swine Fever reported in Mizoram

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The highly contagious African Swine Fever (ASF), which created havoc last year in Mizoram killing over 33,000 pigs, has reappeared in few districts of the bordering state, officials said.

Officials of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary (AH & Vety) Department said that fresh pig deaths due to ASF were reported recently in some villages of Champhai and other districts.

“We have asked the department officials to send daily reports of a fresh ASF outbreak to the directorate in Aizawl. After getting the details of all affected districts, the exact number of pig deaths would be known,” an official of the AH & Vety department said.

Chief Secretary Renu Sharma has called an urgent meeting on Wednesday to review the situation and to finalise the strategies to prevent the further spread of the infectious disease. The extremely contagious ASF was first detected in Lungsen village in Lunglei district in March last year and subsequently, it has spread to all the 11 districts claiming the lives of 33,417 pigs affecting over 10,000 families causing financial loss of Rs 61 crore.

Around 11,000 pigs were culled last year and compensation for culled pigs amounting around to Rs 12 crore was sought from the Central government.

Officials said that though since December last year ASF related pig death was not reported but of late fresh cases surfaced.

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 the tribals and non-tribals in the region.

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