- NET Web Desk
Assam has been gripped with scare of African Swine Fever (ASF) infections – a highly contagious haemorrhagic illness of domestic and wild pigs, which has been intermittent along the Northeastern Indian regions.
In view of its escalating cases, the state administration has designated Bishnupur-Nadirpar hamlet in Kamrup district as the epicentre of ASF under the Prevention and Control of Infections and Contagious Disease in Animals Act, 2009.
All villages within a one-kilometer radius of the epicentre have been designated as ‘infected zones’ and are been subjected to several restrictions.
However, villages located within a 10-kilometer radius of the epicentre have been designated as ‘surveillance zones’.
Transportation of pigs through roadways or railways through an area that has been declared contaminated is permitted, as long as the animal is not let loose anywhere, within the zone prior to the issue of a sanitization certificate by the responsible veterinary authority.
“No person will be allowed to take out any pig alive or dead, which is infected or suspected to be infected from African swine fever. Besides, no person will be allowed to carry any pig feed or breeding material or carcass, skin or other parts or products of such animals which has come in contact with any animal infected or suspected to be infected from African Swine Fever,” – informed an official statement.
“No person, organization or institution shall hold any animal market, animal fair, animal exhibition and carry out any activity which involves grouping or gathering of pigs within the zone. The competent veterinary officer may suo moto or on an application made to him on this behalf, relax the provision in relation to other species of animals other than pigs if he is satisfied that in the public interest it is necessary to accord such relaxation,” – the statement further reads.
Furthermore, it is prohibited to bring or attempt to bring pigs that are suspected to be infected with fever into any public space, including markets, fairs, exhibitions, or other venues.
“The chief veterinary officer or competent officer, if he thinks fit that an animal is infected with African Swine Fever and euthanasia has to be resorted to, for preventing the spread of the disease to other pigs of the area, will issue direction in writing for euthanasia of the animal in the infected zone and carcass to be disposed of by any manner to protect public health and hygiene,” it said.
Its worthy to note that more than 40,000 pigs have died of African Swine Fever in Assam since 2020. The catastrophe is believed to have economically affected over 14,000 households, and have transmitted in nearly 22 districts.