May 11, 2020

 

India's Assam state continues to battle African swine fever amid COVID-19


 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Assam state in northeastern India is battling the spread of another disease: African swine fever.

 

According to a Press Trust of India report via The Economic Times on Saturday, May 9, the Assam veterinary and animal husbandry department is set to draw an action plan to control the spread of the ASF, which has already killed 2,900 pigs in the state since February. (Business Insider has put the number at 13,000 so far, in a report Sunday, May 10, citing statements from "Ministers and officials".)

 

The disease was reportedly detected in India for the first time in Arunachal Pradesh state, the northeasternmost state, in January 2020. "We suspect it has come to Assam from Xinjiang province through adjacent Arunachal Pradesh through wild boar", Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Minister Atul Bora was quoted as saying in The Economic Times report.

 

Bora said they have decided to ban the sale of pork in the six affected districts of Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Bishwanath, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar due to the disease outbreak.

 

He added that so far 306 villages in the six districts have been affected, even as they have received reports of deaths of pigs from other districts.