Aizawl: Mizoram has sought assistance from Delhi to compensate pis farmers, whose pigs have been killed in the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), a minister said on Tuesday. 

The highly contagious pig disease continues to ravage piggeries in Mizoram killing more than 42,300 pigs and piglets worth crores of rupees across the state since March last year. State animal husbandry and veterinary minister Dr K Beichhua said that Chief Minister Zoramthanga had recently shot a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to provide monetary assistance as PM’s special package to compensate the pig farmers for their losses.

He said that the state government is also taking steps to give compensation to the farmers, who lost pigs due to ASF.

The Mizoram government on Tuesday disbursed compensations amounting to Rs.10.48 crore to 2,488 farmers, whose pigs and piglets have been culled to prevent further spread of ASF. The compensation will cover 12,568 culled pigs and piglets from seven districts.

Also Read: Nagaland: Slaughter of pigs banned in Kohima

The assistance would be instantly credited to each beneficiary’s bank account through direct benefit transfer, according to Beichhua. 

Addressing a disbursement function in the state capital, the minister said that as per the Central government guidelines, compensation is applicable for only the culled pigs or piglets recognised by the department although the state government is desirous of compensating all the farmers for their pigs and piglets that killed in the outbreak. 

He said that monetary assistance has been sought from the state planning department to compensate the pig farmers. 

Also Read: Mizoram: Nearly 5000 pigs dead since February due to African Swine Fever

According to Beichhua, the first outbreak of ASF was reported on March 21 last year at Lungsen, a remote village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh.

Although the outbreak was more or less contained in the latter part of 2021 due to the massive efforts made by the state government, the highly contagious pig disease resurfaced at a Mizoram-Manipur border village in February this year, he said. 

He said that the government has imposed a blanket ban on the import of pigs, piglets and other pork products from neighbouring states and countries since 2019 in an effort to become self-dependent on pork, which is the main consumed meat in the state.

According to data released by the state animal husbandry and veterinary department on Tuesday, a total of 8,907 pigs and piglets have died in the  ASF outbreak since its recurrence in February this year.

Forty more pigs died on Tuesday, it said.

Altogether, 42,324 pigs and piglets have been killed due to the outbreak of ASF since March last year. Besides, more than 18,500 pigs have been culled since last year, according to the veterinary department. 

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