GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - At a time when the African swine fever (ASF) is posing a challenge to the pig rearers of Assam, the Gauhati High Court in its judgment on a writ petition recently made it mandatory to vaccinate the pigs to be imported to Assam from Punjab and Haryana.
The petition was filed by the North East Progressive Pig Farmers Association (NEPPFA) after the Centre decided to allow pig export to Assam from Punjab and Haryana. Earlier, opposing the decision of the Central government, Agriculture and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora and NEPPFA also wrote to Upamanyu Basu, Joint Secretary in the Department of Central Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
In the letter, NEPPFA said, �We strongly protest against this decision taken in a hurry without considering the holistic picture and in the name of the pig farmers of the entire country and especially of the North East. The entire pig industry of India will be in danger if the movement of pigs from Punjab and Haryana to the north-eastern states allow in such a time.�
NEPPFA further stated that the pig farmers of the region are going through a very difficult time for the last four months as both movement and sale of pigs have been stopped in order to contain the ASF.
Till date over 17,000 pigs died in some villages due to ASF in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sivasagar, Majuli, Biswanath, Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong, Kamrup (M), Sonitpur, Jorhat and Golaghat districts.
Dr Purna Konwar, administrative officer of Assam Livestock And Poultry Corporation, said Dhemaji and Sivasagar are the worst-hit districts till date. He said the disease mainly hit the villages located near the rivers.
Meanwhile, Dr Konwar claimed that the measures taken by the state government showed very good results in containing the disease.
He further informed that the recent floods have caused a delay in starting the culling exercise to contain the disease in the affected areas. Now, it will start after August 15, Dr Konwar informed.