Assam, a north-eastern state in India that is battling the coronavirus pandemic, is now preparing to tackle another problem, the African Swine Fever (ASF). This state has become the focal point of African Swine Fever, and since February, about 13,000 pigs have died in Assam due to this. This virus is so dangerous that the death rate of pigs infected with it is 100 percent.
Assam government says that the virus has come from China like reports speculate that the coronavirus also came from there. About 60 percent of the pigs in China were killed between 2018 and 2020 due to African Swine Fever.
The infection has spread to nine districts in the state. Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora on Saturday visited the Kaziranga National Park to take stock of the situation. He called the case is “worrying” and added that the state will not kill infected pigs but will implement biosafety measures that are in line with the lockdown.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked the Veterinary and Forests Department to work with the Pig Research Center, which comes under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. He has ordered them to create a plan to save the state’s pigs from the deadly African swine fever.
African swine fever in Assam
An expert team formed to look into the matter
An expert team was also formed. Chief Minister Sonowal reiterated the need to control the spread of the virus to protect the boar industry from this attack. He also held a meeting with doctors of ICAR to discuss in detail the state’s fever and strategy to reduce the problem. He also asked the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department to find out how many people are engaged in the piggery sector so that the government can take steps to announce a bailout package to protect them from financial harm.
The first case of African Swine Fever came to light in 1921 in African countries of Kenya and Ethiopia. According to the 2019 census, the population of Assam’s pigs was 21 lakh, which has now increased to 30 lakh in recent times.