Aizawl: In the midst of rising Covid-19 pandemic, the African Swine Fever (ASF) has struck pigs in Mizoram, causing deaths of over 5,000 animals in different districts, officials said on Friday.
Chief Minister Zoramthanga, in a tweet tagging the Prime Minister's Office and Union DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh, said that the state is struggling with its livestock sector.
"Piggery farmers and their economic stances are at stake!" he posted.
Officials of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Department said that due to the ASF,at least 5,027 pigs and piglets has so far died since March causing financial loss to the tune of Rs 20.10 crore.
The ASF was first reported in southern Mizoram's Lunglei district on March 21 with 2,349 pigs and piglets having died, but subsequently 1,656 pigs died in Aizawl district.
Many villages and localities in the two districts have been declared "infected areas".
According to the officials, of the 11 districts in Mizoram, currently the ASF outbreak have been reported from nine districts. They said that unusual deaths of 120 pigs have also been reported so far but the cause of death is yet to be ascertained.
The outbreak of various diseases including ASF, Foot-and-mouth among the animals, mostly livestock, have occurred in different states of the northeast region almost every year. After the outbreak, the northeastern states have sounded high alert and asked people, especially owners of piggeries, to refrain from bringing pigs and piglets from other states and neighbouring countries, specially from Myanmar.
The northeast's annual pork business is worth around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore, with Assam being the largest supplier. Ppork is one of the most common and popular meats consumed by tribals and non-tribals in the region.
According to experts, pigs are generally affected by the classical fever, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome besides ASF, which was first detected in 1921 in Kenya. According to some experts, humans don't get infected by ASF, but they could be the carriers of the virus.