Mizoram Animal Husbandry minister visits village to take stock of pig deaths

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Aizawl, Apr 8 (PTI) The death toll of pigs in south Mizoram's Lunglei district reached 276 on Thursday even as state Animal Husbandry and Veterinary minister Dr K Beichhua visited the infected village to take stock of the situation, an official said.

Though the cause of pig deaths reported at Lungsen village is yet to be ascertained, a preliminary test has hinted to African Swine Fever (ASF) as the cause of death.

Lungsen, a village close to the Bangladesh border is located about 39 km from Lunglei town. The first pig death was reported in the village on March 21.

State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department joint director (Livestock Health) Dr Lalhmingthanga told PTI that the death toll reached 276 on Thursday.

Samples of dead pigs have reached Bhopal on Thursday and results are expected soon, he said.

He said that the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) will directly declare the cause of the death after analysis.

According to the official, pig deaths are also reported in at least three villages in Mamit district, which borders Bangladesh and Tripura.

The actual figure from the three villages is yet to be confirmed, he said.

Meanwhile, K Beichhua visited Lungsen village on Thursday to take stock of the situation.

He held discussion with community leaders and officials there.

The minister said that the state government is making a massive effort to contain the outbreak.

The government has already declared Lungsen village as 'infected area' and prohibited movement of pigs in and outside the village.

On Tuesday, the entire Lunglei district was declared as a surveillance zone in order to contain and prevent the spread of the disease outbreak.

Officials suspect the prevailing swine disease to be transmitted from pigs and smoked porks imported from neighbouring states and countries.

Mizoram shares inter-state border with Assam, Manipur and Tripura and international boundary with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In 2020, the ASF has killed thousands of pigs in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Manipur.

Myanmar has also reported the deadly pig disease in the past.

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. PTI COR RG RG