The Meghalaya government has banned inter-state transportation of pigs after 24 such animals have died due to African Swine Fever in the state in the past few weeks, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said on Thursday.
These 24 pigs have died in 12 villages in four districts – East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, West Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills district and these villages were declared as containment zones to prevent the spread of the disease, he said.
Consumption of pork and slaughter of pigs have also been banned in the containment zones.
In all, 73 pigs have died across the state and of them, 24 were confirmed to be infected with African Swine Fever.
Samples have been collected from 49 others and sent for further investigation, said Tynsong who is in-charge of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department.
The deputy chief minister said that the government suspects that the disease came from neighbouring Assam, where thousands of pigs have died.
“In view of this, we have restricted inter-state as well as inter-district transportation of pigs,” he said and urged the stakeholders to cooperate with the government in its effort to contain the spread of the disease in the state.
He told reporters that the issue was discussed in the daily review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday.
“We have decided to immediately declare villages throughout the state which are affected by the disease as containment zones. A notification on this regard is being prepared by the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department,” Tynsong said.
The deputy chief minister said that the government would not allow people to either slaughter pigs or consume pork in areas falling under these containment zones.
“This decision has been taken to contain further spread of the disease in the piggery sector,” he added.
African swine fever is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs.