Aizawl: African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to wreak havoc on piggeries in Mizoram killing more than 44,300 pigs and piglets in nearly 18 months since March last year, an official said Thursday.

State animal husbandry and veterinary department joint director (Livestock Health) Dr. Lalhmingthanga said that the outbreak is now considered ‘endemic’ as it has spread to wild boars.

Although the outbreak showed a declining trend it could surge at any time because it is considered endemic after the highly contagious pig disease spread to wild boars, he said.

In July this year, carcasses of wild boar were found in jungles in Champhai district in the eastern part of the state bordering Myanmar. Later, the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal confirmed the wild boars to have died of ASF.

Lalhmingthanga said that the ASF outbreak reported first in a remote village in Lunglei district in the southern part of the state bordering Bangladesh was considered more or less contained when no pig deaths due to the disease were reported in December last year.

Also Read | The ‘other’ pandemic: How swine fever ravaged Mizoram’s pork industry

The outbreak resurfaced in late February and since then 10,892 pigs and piglets have died during the current year.

30 more pigs died due to ASF on Thursday, he said.

During February to September 29 this year, the animal husbandry and veterinary department culled 9,887 pigs and piglets to prevent the outbreak from further spread.

According to the official, the ASF has currently affected 149 villages across all the eleven districts of the state.

He said that the state government had informed about the situation and urged for ASF vaccines to Union  Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying  Parshottam Khondabhai Rupala during the latter’s visit to the state in June.

However, an official letter asking for vaccination is yet to be sent to Delhi, he said.

Animal husbandry and veterinary officials said that the ASF outbreak is believed to be caused by pigs and piglets imported from neighbouring countries.

Mizoram shares a 510-km long international border with Myanmar in the east and 318 km with Bangladesh in the west.

The state government has imposed a blanket ban on import of pigs, piglets and other pork products from neighbouring states and countries since 2019.

Mizoram was also hit by Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)  in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2020 killing thousands of pigs and piglets causing a loss to the tune of Rs 10.62 crore.

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