Aizawl, April 9: Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Minister of Mizoram Dr K Beichhua today visited Lungsen village in southern Mizoram's Lunglei district even as the pigs death toll due to suspected African Swine Fever reached 276.
Pigs death due to unknown disease was reported in the village near the Indo-Bangladesh border, 57 kms away from Lunglei, town was reported since March 21.
Although the cause of pig deaths reported at the village is yet to be ascertained, preliminary tests have suggested African Swine Fever (ASF) as the cause. Officials said pig samples reached Bhopal on Thursday for confirmation and the results are expected soon.
The Minister handed over cash assistance of Rs. 20,000/- each to the three Young Mizo Association units in Lungsen village. The three units have each set up separate burial grounds on the outskirts of Lungsen village, with volunteers stepping out for mass burials at designated hours.
Due to the daily increase in swine deaths, JCB Earthmovers were used to dig out burial pits in advance at these burial grounds. The Minister and his team visited these burial grounds, inspecting the safety measures being taken while burying the pig carcass, officials said.
A five member Disease Investigation Team from Aizawl, led by Dr M Zohmingthangi, Deputy Director AH&Vety (Disease Investigation & Epidemiology) has been camping in the village since Monday. The team is studying the on ground situation, and educating villagers in and around Lungsen village of the various precautionary steps needed to be taken amid the crisis, including proper burial method of infected pig carcass, and the importance of cleaning and disinfection. The team has also distributed gloves, Sodium hypochlorite, potassium permanganate and cash assistance of Rs. 7000/- each to the 3 YMA Branches within Lungsen village.
The infected pigs at Lungsen village have developed symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, bluish discoloration of the abdomen, and fever. These symptoms are indicative of AFS according to AH & Vety officials.