ITANAGAR, May 17 - The Arunachal Pradesh government has requested the Centre for a financial package of Rs 1.6 crore in the first phase to cull 4,500 pigs infected with African Swine Fever (AFS) in East Siang and Papum Pare districts of the state, a senior minister said on Sunday.
The ASF outbreak in the state in April has claimed the lives of a few thousand pigs and wild boars, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Tage Taki said.
�I had placed the demand for financial assistance during a video conference of Union Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh with all the state ministers on May 14,� Taki told PTI. More assistance will be sought in subsequent phases, he said.
Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Joint Director Dr Techi Taku put the death toll of pigs in the state due to ASF at 2,253 so far.
�The toll is likely to increase as reports of more deaths of pigs and wild boars are pouring in from various districts and authorities are compiling the data,� Dr Taku, also the state nodal officer for animal health, said.
The minister said he had also urged the Centre to approve a Rs 200-crore state government project to develop grazing lands for bovine animals like Mithun and yaks, which are �backbone of the rural economy of the state�.He said the state is facing problems in egg production due to high cost in the procurement of poultry feeds from Odisha and Assam and sought the Centre�s assistance in this regard. He also sought the Centre�s help in establishing a research centre for farming of high altitude varieties of fishes found in the state. -PTI