mizoram pig deaths
Representational image Credit: Representational image

Guwahati: Amidst the pandemonium of COVID-19, Assam is now battling yet another outbreak, the African swine fever (ASF), which has killed 14,465 pigs in 10 districts of the state.

Assam has over 21 lakh pigs in farms (both domestic and commercial) which are looked over by about 7 lakh families, becoming the state with the most farmed pigs in the country. This has now increased to 30 lakh as of now. The annual pork business in the Northeast is worth around Rs 8,000 to 10,000 crore and Assam is the largest supplier, said reports.

In a recent tweet by Atul Bora, minister of agriculture, horticulture & food processing, animal husbandry & veterinary, said: “We understand the severity of financial loss from the death of pigs due to AFS. We are in regular consultation with the Central Govt in this matter and I assure the farmers that necessary compensation will be provided after a proper and thorough appraisal of the loss of pigs.”

Various steps have been taken by the state government to prevent widespread infection and has advised the farmers to practise deep burial of dead pigs and also to disinfect the burial pits with sodium chloride, bleaching powder, and salt.

Moreover, containment and surveillance zones of 1 km and 10 km, respectively, have been set up around the affected areas, said Bora in a recent tweet. Additionally, Kaziranga National Park authority has dug a 2-km-long and 6-ft-deep trench in a bid to protect and conserve the wild boar population from the ASF outbreak.

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