A total of 19 villages in Meghalaya have been declared as the epicentres of African Swine Fever- after a large number of pigs died of it in the state.
The Meghalaya government has imposed restrictions on the movement of people and pigs from these villages spread across East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts.
The restrictions have been placed not just in the affected villages, but also in the surrounding areas within the 10 km radius.
A government notification, citing the seriousness of African Swine Fever, said, “There shall be a restriction on movement of people to the infected zones.
Meanwhile, restrictions have also been imposed on the transportation of items related to piggeries like veterinary medicine, feed, equipment, and breeding tools from the infected zones.
The notification further stated that all equipment, supplies associated with piggery should not be moved out of the pig sheds/pig farms.
The pig farm owners and pig handlers have been asked to maintain hygiene and biosecurity in pig farms and restrict the entry of people into their farms.
It was also informed by the government that there would be complete prohibition on the movement of pig handlers from one pig shed to another.
“Vehicles shall be allowed to move out of the infected zones only after disinfection,” the notification added.
Meanwhile, the District Veterinary Officers and Rapid Response Teams will take steps in their respective areas to make everyone in and around the infected zones aware of the restrictions in force.
African Swine Fever so far has claimed the lives of 17,000 pigs in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh since February this year.
African Swine Fever is believed to have been transmitted from China where it has resulted in the death of several animals in 2019.
World Organisation for Animal Health says that African Swine Fever is an extremely contagious viral disease affecting wild and domestic pigs.
It swiftly crosses national borders, spreading through live or dead bodies, even through packaged pork products.