GUWAHATI, May 9 - Culling is the only way to contain the African swine fever, which led to the death of around 13,033 pigs till today, in the State, as no vaccine or treatment is available for the disease, said a senior veterinary expert in Assam.
According to a statement issued by the State Veterinary department, the disease has already spread to nine districts of Assam including Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Majuli, Golaghat and Kamrup (Metro).
The expert said the culling drive will cover the farms which have already got infected with the disease. As per 2019 census, Assam had around 21 lakh pigs but the number has increased to around 30 lakh this year.
The drive will start after testing of samples collected from the infected pigs. Already the department has started sample collection drive in all the affected areas of the State.
As a step to contain the disease, the department started a series of initiatives in every district including sanitization of pig farms by using bleaching powder and caustic soda, mass awareness drive by using leaflets and other methods, declaration of containment zone in affected places, etc.
In the mass awareness drive, the department is mainly emphasizing on to stop free-ranging pigs along with the use of all bio-safety measures.
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora today reviewed the situation at the Kaziranga National park.
The minister stated that his department is in continuous communication with the Union government regarding the outbreak of the disease. Moreover, three teams of doctors and officials have been entrusted with the duty to carry out an on-the-spot investigation in all the affected areas. The department is also taking a step to test a large number of samples in the coming days. During the visit, Bora also suspended a veterinarian, Dr Debamohan Saikia, for his absence in duty.