Guwahati: African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to wreak havoc in the livestock sector in Mizoram affecting as many as 10 out of the total 11 districts and killing more than 9,000 pigs in a little over three months, according to states animal husbandry and veterinary science department.
According to data released by the department on Sunday, at least 152 villages or local areas in 10 districts are currently affected by the ASF outbreak causing a loss of over Rs. 36.68 crore.
“Unusual death” of 699 pigs has been reported from even outside ASF-infected areas, it said.
The data also said that 1,078 pigs have been culled so far to prevent the disease from spreading further.
The first pig death due to ASF was reported on March 21 at Lungsen village in south Mizorams Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh.
Though the spread of ASF in Lunglei district has now become “less severe”, it began to ravage Aizawl district, which has borne the brunt of the disease with 3,454 pig deaths so far, according to the department joint director (livestock health) Dr. Lalhmingthanga.
So far, the ASF has killed 3,092 pigs in Lunglei district, 684 in Mamit district, 939 in Serchhip district, 320 in Lawngtlai district, 334 in Khawzawl district, 83 in Hnahthial district, 257 in Champhai district, 8 in Saitual district, and 1 in Siaha district, he said.
Only Kolasib district, which borders Assam, is ASF- free at present, he said.
Lalhmingthanga said that a special diseases investigation team, which visited Lungsen village during April 5-8 found that pigs are illegally imported from Bangladesh through villages like Tipperaghat and Khojoysury located near the Bangladesh border.
Illegal pig traders use Lungsen village for keeping the animals there before moving them to Lunglei market, he said.
The senior official said that the president of the Rolui village council had informed that an outbreak of an unknown disease had killed several pigs in Bangladesh villages along the India border in February 2021.
Lalhmingthanga further said that the ASF outbreak in Aizawl district and east Mizorams Champhai district is believed to be caused by pigs or pork imported from Meghalaya and Myanmar respectively.
Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur, and Tripura and also international boundaries with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease, affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages.
Experts said that it is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. No vaccine is available for the virus to date.