Over 600 pigs die of swine fever in Mizoram

Aizawl, May 1 (IANS) Over 600 pigs have died from swine fever and about 12,200 have been infected in the past two months in Mizoram, officials said here Wednesday.

“The endemic swine fever caused the death of as many as 470 pigs in Aizawl district alone while remaining 130 died in other districts. Over 12,200 pigs have been infected with the disease,” a Mizoram animal husbandry and veterinary department official told reporters.

The northeastern state shares border with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Over 300 piglets, given to the people under the new land use policy, a Mizoram government flagship scheme to rehabilitate the poor people in permanent cultivation, have also died from swine fever, also called hog cholera.

The animal husbandry and veterinary department had earlier in March asked all the deputy commissioners of the state’s eight districts, specially those adjoining Myanmar, to issue orders banning import of pigs from neighbouring Myanmar.

According to the official, the PRRS (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome), which was much more dangerous than the swine flu, also hit Mizoram and was spreading in Myanmar and there has been an epidemic-like situation in that country.

“After preliminary positive test of swine fever in Mizoram laboratories, the samples have been sent to the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory for final confirmation,” the official added.

Restrictions of the past two months by the administration on selling “affected pork” would continue in the mountainous state until the situation normalises, officials said.

The sale of pork also dropped rapidly. Chicken and beef have been substituting the menu in marriage parties and other feasts in the Christian-dominated state.

Taking advantage of the situation, the dealers and meat vendors have almost doubled the prices of chicken and beef.

Mizoram has international border of 404 km with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh.

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