State ban on pig transportation, pork sales

Nine districts report ‘unusual’ pig deaths

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Apr 29: Following reports of unusual deaths of pigs and their test samples indicating African swine fever (ASF) in nine districts of the state and neighbouring state of Assam, the state’s department of animal husbandry, veterinary & dairy development (AHV&DD) has put a complete ban on transportation of pigs and sale of pork in Arunachal Pradesh till further orders.
According to the AHV&DD, unusual mortality of pigs has been reported in the state, especially in the districts of West Kameng, Papum Pare, Leparada, Upper Siang, Lower Siang, East Siang, Lohit, Namsai and Changlang, as well as the neighbouring districts of Assam since January, 2020.
The preliminary testing of samples at ICAR, Barapani and CVSc, Khanapara indicated occurrence of the ASF, which the department said, is “a highly contagious and deadly disease and has so far been reported only in other countries in Asia, including China and Myanmar.”
The samples collected from the outbreak areas in the state have been dispatched to the NERDDL in Guwahati, Assam and NISHAD, Bhopal for confirmatory diagnosis.
“Considering the large number of pig mortality and the preliminary clinical observation, the occurrence of ASF in the state cannot be ruled out,” the department said.
Apart from the ban, AHV&DD Secretary Mimum Tayeng, on Wednesday also issued other control and containment exercises to be rigorously implemented throughout the state.
The department has issued directions to ensure bio-containment measures and enhance vigilance particularly in border areas, with strict instructions that “no cases of pig disease and death should go unreported.”
Officials have also been entrusted to ensure submission of samples of ailing or dead pigs as per the standard operating procedure to the Disease Investigation Laboratory at Nirjuli without delay, and to ensure inspection and quarantine of the existing pig population and adoption of bio-security measures by farmers.
Pig farmers, especially rural small scale farmers have been advised to avoid swill feeding (feeding of food scraps to pigs); ensure mandatory disinfection of pig rearing premises and to follow strict hygiene measure and isolation of ailing pigs.
Pig carcasses are also to be mandatorily deep buried or incinerated. Throwing of carcasses and dumping of pig wastes openly, particularly into rivers or other water bodies, is prohibited.
In order to prevent disease outbreak in the government pig farms, movement of visitors to the departmental pig farms has been banned, besides restrictions on movement of farm workers of the pig farm outside the farm premises.
These government farms are also to ensure bio-security and proper disinfection of the premises.
The department also intends to follow up on proper awareness in the affected focal areas for farmers and other stakeholders.
Accordingly, the Itanagar-Capital Region (ICR) administration has banned the sale of pork in the ICR with immediate effect.
The superintendent of police, additional district magistrate, magistrates, members of APMC and veterinary officer (IMC) will be responsible in implementing the order in the ICR and violators will be booked under 188 IPC and other appropriate sections of law.