Mizoram declares some areas in four districts as epicentre of ASF

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Aizawl, Apr 21 (PTI) The Mizoram government has declared certain areas in four districts of the state as the 'epicentre' of African Swine Fever (ASF), the dreaded pig disease which has killed more than 1,000 pigs in a month, an official said on Wednesday.

State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department joint director (Livestock Health) Dr Lalhmingthanga told PTI that Lungsen village and Lunglei Electric Veng locality in Lunglei district, Armed Veng and Edenthar neighbourhood in Aizawl district, Keitum village in Serchhip district and a locality (Vaipi-I) in Siaha town of the district have been declared as 'epicentre' of ASF.

He said that five districts - Aizawl, Lunglei, Serchhip, Mamit and Siaha are currently affected by ASF, the swine disease witnessed by Mizoram for the first time in its history.

Though Mamit district has also reported ASF related pig deaths, it is yet to be declared as epicentre, he said.

The first pig death due to ASF was reported at Lungsen village under Tlabung sub-division in south Mizoram's Lunglei district bordering Bangladesh on March 21.

Quoting the department record, Lalhmingthanga said that at least 1,119 pigs have died due to ASF till Wednesday causing monetary losses to the tune of over Rs 4.47 crore.

Apart from Lungsen, ASF related pig deaths were reported at four villages in Mamit districts, one village in Serchhip district, one locality in Siaha town and three localities each in Aizawl and Lunglei towns, he said.

He said that unusual death of 87 pigs was also reported in Aizawl's Durtlang locality, Chawngte village in Mizoram's southernmost Lawngtlai district and in Serchhip town, which is yet to be verified.

He said that samples of the dead pigs from these areas will be sent to Guwahati for diagnosis.

The official said that the government has not undertaken culling of pigs as it involves compensation.

However, some infected pigs were voluntarily culled by the owners as a preventive measure, he said.

'The government is currently conducting assessment and a proposal for culling will be sent to the Central government after completion of the assessment,' Lalhmingthanga told PTI.

He added that the government has taken massive containment measures to prevent the pig disease from spreading to other districts.

Mizoram has 11 districts.

Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura and also international boundary with Bangladesh and Myanmar. PTI COR RG RG