Aizawl: The outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to wreak havoc on piggeries in Mizoram and has now extended to wild boars too. At least four wild boars were found dead under mysterious conditions in forests in east Mizoram’s Champhai district near the Myanmar border recently, an official of state animal husbandry and the veterinary department said on Wednesday.
African Swine Fever (ASF) was highly suspected to be behind the deaths of the wild pigs, the department joint director (Livestock Health) Dr Lalhmingthanga said.
He said that the carcasses of two female wild boars and a wild piglet were spotted by locals in a forest about 6 km from Leisenzo village in the Champhai district on Tuesday.
Earlier on July 1, another carcass of a wild pig was also found in a forest in the Samthanga area in the same district and inspected by veterinary and forest officials, he said.
On being informed, officials of animal husbandry and veterinary and forest departments rushed to the spot on Wednesday and inspected the decomposed carcasses at Leisenzo, he said.
He said that samples of the dead wild boars were collected and sent to Bhopal to ascertain the cause of their deaths.
The wild pigs were highly suspected to have died of ASF, he said.
ASF continues to wreak havoc on piggeries in Mizoram as 267 more pigs and piglets died due to the highly contagious pig disease in the past two days (Tuesday and Wednesday).
The outbreak of ASF resurfaced in February this year after its first outbreak in March last year was believed to be contained in December the same year when no new pig deaths due to the outbreak were reported.
According to the data released by the state animal husbandry and veterinary department on Wednesday, a total of 8,539 pigs have died in the ASF outbreak since its recurrence in February this year.
While 70 died on Wednesday, 197 others died on Tuesday.
The outbreak has currently affected 119 villages and localities in 10 out of 11 districts in the state, the data said.
So far, 7,018 pigs have been culled to prevent further spread of the outbreak since its recurrence in February, it said.
Besides, 1,414 pigs have died due to suspected ASF since February and their actual deaths are yet to be ascertained, it said.
As many as 33,417 pigs had died due to the outbreak of ASF last year causing monetary losses to the tune of Rs 60.82 crore.
A total of 10,910 pigs have also been culled to prevent the further spread of ASF during the same year.
The outbreak of ASF was first reported at Lungsen village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district near the Bangladesh border on March 21 last year.
The outbreak was believed to be caused by pigs illegally imported from the neighbouring state, according to officials.
Mizoram has already banned the import of pigs and pork products from other states and countries on April 2.
Official sources said that the state government is yet to declare ASF as a ‘state disaster’ though the proposal has been already approved by Chief Minister Zoramthanga.
The state government would also soon disburse compensation to pig farmers, whose pigs have been culled to prevent further spread of ASF, the sources said.
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