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Shillong: Concern over the rise of African Swine Flu seems to be growing as 22 more pigs were reported to have died in Tiehsaw of Nongstoin at West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya.

The village witnessed the unfortunate demise of 22 pigs due to African Swine Fever (ASF). 

Dr P Sohlang, the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Officer, confirmed the reports, stating that the deaths were a direct result of the ASF outbreak.

According to Dr Sohlang, all 22 affected pigs belonged to a single owner. Following the reports, the department promptly urged the owner to take necessary precautions and prioritize the welfare of the remaining livestock.

In this regard, an official notification was issued to raise awareness about the seriousness of the illness and emphasize the need for diligent care.

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Regrettably, there is currently no known treatment or cure for African Swine Fever, making prevention the primary focus. Dr Sohlang emphasized the importance of implementing preventive measures, such as strictly forbidding unauthorized individuals from entering the pigsty. Additionally, it is crucial to isolate and prevent contact between infected pigs and healthy ones.

To contain the spread of the disease and protect the livestock in the region, the Deputy Commissioner of West Khasi Hills District promptly enforced Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Earlier this week, the Ri Bhoi district administration in Meghalaya in response to the reports of pig deaths and suspected cases of swine flu declared villages in the district as containment zone.

The villages declared containment zone by the Ri Bhoi district administration are Umsawriang, Madan Nonglakhiat, Mawlyngkhung, and Syllei-U-Lar.

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This decision aims to prevent the further spread of the disease within the mentioned areas, allowing the veterinary department to effectively trace and investigate the cases.

To enforce containment measures, the district magistrate has invoked Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr PC) based on the recommendation of the District Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Officer. 

Until further notice, the district magistrate has prohibited pig-rearing activities, pig slaughtering, and the sale of pork meat in the affected villages.

This measure is essential to curbing the potential transmission of the disease.

Additionally, all pig owners and farm operators have been instructed to maintain strict hygiene and implement biosecurity measures at all times. Entry into the farm premises should be restricted to essential personnel only, as stated in the order.

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