Sikkim bans sale of pigs after African Swine Fever cases detected in state

Gangtok, May 25 (PTI) The Sikkim government has temporarily banned the sale of pigs in the state after cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) were reported in North Sikkim district, an official said on Wednesday.

A total of 117 pigs have died in various parts of the state in the past two months.

Animal Husbandry Department Secretary Dr P Senthil Kumar has cautioned the general public to refrain from eating pork and has also stated that the first tests of the samples which were taken from the pigs in North Sikkim district had come out positive for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) on February 23 this year. On February 29 the first case of African Swine Fever was detected.

He also informed that there was a 20 per cent chance of pigs dying from the virus but in Sikkim the death rate of pigs that have died from the virus presently stands at 1 per cent.

The Animal Husbandry Department secretary said the state government is working on a war footing to counter the spread of the virus and that awareness programmes on the same are being conducted throughout the state.