Aizawl: The outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) has killed 4,650 pigs and piglets in Mizoram since the first death due to the dreaded pig disease was reported in the state in March, an official of the state animal husbandry and veterinary science department said on Saturday.

The department’s joint director (livestock health), Dr Lalhmingthanga, said that with the death of 40 pigs on Saturday, the outbreak of ASF has so far claimed as many as 4,650 pigs and piglets causing a monetary loss to the tune of Rs 18.60 crore.

He said that the first pig death due to ASF was reported on March 21 at Lungsen village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh.

Since then the dreaded pig disease has spread in at least nine districts — Aizawl, Lunglei, Mamit, Serchhip, Lawngtlai, Khawzawl, Hnahthial, Siaha and Champhai.

Of the 11 districts in the state, Kolasib and Saitual districts are ASF free as of now, he said.

At least 91 villages and neighbourhoods in nine districts have been declared as “infected areas” of ASF with Aizawl district having the highest infected areas of 55 villages or localities, followed by Lunglei, which has 26 villages as infected areas, according to Dr Lalhmingthanga.

The current pig population in these 91 infected areas is 32,108, he said.

The official said that the department has also received unusual death of 100 pigs outside ASF infected areas, which is suspected to be caused by ASF.

The cause of the pig deaths is yet to be ascertained, he said.

He added that the state has not reported the outbreak of ASF in the past and the present outbreak is believed to be caused by pigs imported from neibhouring states and countries.

Also read: Mizoram under financial crisis due to COVID-19, wildfire, African swine fever: CM

Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura and also international boundaries with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages.

Experts said that it is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.

No vaccine is available for the virus till date.

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