African swine fever: After Mizoram, disease sets foot in Tripura, culling of pigs begins

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Sep 22, 2021, 06:28 PM IST

Representational image Photograph:(AFP)

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Tripura is the latest state to report an outbreak of African swine fever in pigs, with three of 87 samples in Kanchanpur sub-division of North Tripura district testing positive for the virus.

After Indian state Mizoram, an outbreak of African swine disease has been recorded in the Kanchanpur sub-division of the North Tripura district, with three of 87 samples proving positive for the virus.

Following the epidemic, K Shashi Kumar, the head of the animal resource development department, ordered that all pigs within a 1-kilometre radius of the epicentre be slaughtered, and a 10-kilometre zone be monitored. 

“Three of 87 samples of pigs tested positive for African swine fever. We’ll cull all pigs within 1km from the epicentre and declare the 10km area as a surveillance zone. We’ve issued notification and begun the culling process,” he said.

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What is African Swine Fever (ASF)?

A viral disease that affects pigs is known as African Swine Fever (ASF).

ASF is thought to spread quickly and has a near-100 per cent case fatality rate.

Direct contact with an infected or wild pig (alive or dead), indirect contact through consumption of contaminated food or waste, or even biological vectors such as ticks are all ways for the virus to spread.

According to health experts, the ASF outbreak poses no risk to human health and cannot be passed from pigs to humans biologically. 

Also read | Why swine fever in China is likely caused by illicit vaccines

Cases in Mizoram

On March 21, the first incidence of an ASF epidemic was recorded in the Lungsen village of south Mizoram.

It is located in the district of Lunglei, which is near the Bangladesh border.

In mid-April, the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal determined that the ASF was the cause of the pig deaths.

Throughout the last five months, the illness has claimed the lives of almost 25,000 pigs in the state.

Since late March, the deaths of so many pigs had resulted in a loss of about Rs 1.21 billion.

To prevent the spread of disease, state officials had to authorise the culling of nearly 9,500 pigs, according to a senior official from the state animal husbandry and veterinary science department. 

(With inputs from agencies)