Dimapur: The Nagaland animal husbandry and veterinary services department on Friday confirmed African swine fever cases in pigs in three districts of the state.

The directorate of the department said confirmed cases of the occurrence of African swine fever have been established in Longleng, Mokokchung and Phek districts through nucleotide sequencing of PCR products and RTPCR by the NIHSAD, Bhopal and NERDDL, Guwahati.

A committee on African swine fever of the directorate, under the convenorship of joint director Dr K Linyü, along with deputy directors Dr Z Mekro and Dr S Amenla Walling Theunuo, visited the epicentres of the disease for initiating control, containment and eradication measures in coordination with the officers of the department in Mokokchung and Longleng district on May 16 and May 17 respectively.

“As of now, the disease is contained in Phek and moderately contained in Longleng but the situation in Mokokchung is yet to be contained satisfactorily,” the directorate said.

It said unless the public, piggery farmers and pork consumers in the state cooperate in containing the disease, it is likely to spread across villages and districts causing a devastating effect on the pig population and severely impacting the economy of the state.

It also warned that unless swift action is taken in a coordinated manner, high morbidity and mortality are going to create an acute shortage of local pigs in the coming months especially from October to December resulting in the high cost of pork in the market.

The department said currently, selective (epicentres) banning on import of pigs is being practiced.

However, with the nature of the border porosity with the neighbouring states, entry or import of live pigs from outside the state has become very difficult for the department to monitor.

As per the current epidemiological survey, the source of origin of the disease appears to be from outside the state due to the high and rampant import of pigs (live pig and cut meat), it said.

The department urged the public, piggery farmers and pork consumers to remain vigilant and report any death of pigs to the nearest veterinary health centre for necessary sero-monitoring to contain the disease in the state.

In an advisory, the department asked the public not to consume dead or diseased pigs, but carry out a deep burial method and subsequent sanitization.

It also called for refraining from importing live pigs for meat and piglets for breeding purposes from outside without knowing the health status and buying pork of unknown origin.

The department further asked the pig farmers to maintain strict bio-security measures on the farms, practice usage of footbath at the entrance of the farm, vaccinate the pigs against classical swine fever and avoid feeding with feeds, especially from hotels and other wastes which may be contaminated.

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