DIBRUGARH, May 6 - Taking serious note of the prevailing health hazard in the district due to the fatal disease spreading among pigs, the district administration held a meeting with the representatives of pig farmers and officials from the Animal Husbandry & Veterinary, Agriculture and Public Health Engineering yesterday evening and prepared a roadmap to control and prevent the disease.
Although the swine disease has been ascribed as African Swine Fever in the State, the results of the samples sent for testing from the district have not reached the authorities here yet. �However, since samples from Dhemaji have been tested as African Swine Fever, we are assuming that the disease prevailing among pigs in Dibrugarh is also African Swine Fever as large number of pigs are transported from Dhemaji to Dibrugarh,� District Veterinary Officer Dr Apurba Saikia, told The Assam Tribune.
As per reports from the Veterinary Office here, since April about 158 pigs have so far died in the district in some 66 villages including those raised by the Department at Khanikar Piggery Farm here. As deaths are sporadic and taking into accounts unreported cases, the number could possibly be more than the documented data, the Vet official stated.
The local DC, who presided over the meeting, asked the PHE officials to carry out sanitization in all the affected areas within the district and also directed the Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department and other stakeholders to jointly carry out massive awareness among the pig farmers, particularly in villages and tea gardens to prevent and control the disease.
Apart from general awareness campaign in the rural areas, the department has particularly planned to focus on certain communities who consume pork and are highly dependent on pig farming for income generation. �Our teams are already in the field carrying out awareness meetings besides surveying. We are also arranging awareness kits and preparing to engage leaders from certain specific communities for the awareness campaign,� said Dr Saikia.
Meanwhile, considering the gravity of the disease, the district administration has banned sale, movement and consumption of pork in the district. The administration has also ordered piggery farmers to keep their pigs in confinements. They were threatened with punishment and penalties in default, district officials have informed. Further, sale of pork or movement of pigs if noticed within the district, can be intimated to the police on phone numbers 0373-2329655 and 6002075019, officials informed.