DOOMDOOMA, April 28 - A sense of panic has gripped the piggery owners not only in Tinsukia district, but also across the State after the government banned selling of pork in the six neighbouring districts of Tinsukia, namely Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Biswanath due to the sudden upsurge in pig deaths.
In Tinsukia district, no major outbreak of epizootic diseases has been reported in the piggery sector , except sporadic cases of classical swine fever-like disease syndrome from some villages, namely Baliani of Saikhowa Block, Bhitor Powai of Margherita Block and Harijan Basti of Tinsukia etc., claimed Dr Debananda Gogoi, District Veterinary Officer of Tinsukia.
Talking to this correspondent, Dr Gogoi said, �Treatment-cum-ring vaccination has been carried out in the affected areas. While 1,500 piglets have already been vaccinated in the vulnerable areas , another 1,700 doses are ready for contingency immunisation.�
�The District Disaster Management Committee of the Veterinary Department is ready to move anywhere within the district as and when necessary. The district has 18 veterinary dispensaries and 28 sub-centres with a staff of 18 Veterinary Officers and 40 field staff along with Grade-IV employees,� Gogoi added.
The District Veterinary Officer further stated that there was no scarcity of animal feed in the district due to the ongoing lockdown in the wake of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Further, the Veterinary Department has been extending support from door to door like vending of livestock commodities by strictly following the COVID-19 guidelines.
It may be mentioned here that around 25 to 30 quintals of pork are being sold in Tinsukia district alone on a regular basis and is a major source of sustenance for the rural masses.
The ban imposed on the sale of piggery products in the neighbouring districts will also adversely affect the pig farmers of Tinsukia district not only during the ongoing lockdown period, but also during the post lockdown period as well.
Expressing doubts over the latest development, a pig farmer of the district, who was unwilling to be named, said if the cause of large-scale pig deaths was established as being of foreign origin, as reported in a section of the Press, and the government decision to take drastic action, including mass culling of pigs, has proved to be a curse for the economy of the State by facilitating the big players from outside the State like Punjab and Karnataka to capture the lucrative piggery market in Assam, as had happened in Nagaland.