Death of pigs not due to African swine fever: Dy CM

Shillong, May 20: Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister PrestoneTynsong, on Wednesday, claimed that the deaths of 30 pigs reported from May 1st to May 15th was not due to African swine fever.

Congress MLA from Mawlai, P T Sawkmie brought up the issue of sudden death of pigs, during the first day of the re-assembled budget session.

He said that due to the spread of African swine fever in the northeast, piggeries have been facing severe losses and urged the government to provide financial compensation.

Sawkmie also said the government should provide ambulances for sick pigs or other animals because of lack of vehicles amidst the lockdown imposed in view of COVID-19.

In response to the call to attention presented by the Congress MLA, Deputy Chief Minister PrestoneTynsong said informed that out of the 30 pig deaths reported since the first week of May till May 15th, 13 of them suffered from Classical swine fever.

He revealed that 9 pigs died in East Khasi Hills District, 12 in Ri-Bhoi District, 2 in West Khasi hills, 4 in Mairang sub-division, 1 in West Jaintia Hills, 1 in East Garo Hills and 1 in East Jaintia Hills.

“Post-mortem was conducted and samples were sent to ICER Umiam for testing. As per reports, the deaths were attributed to Classical Swine Fever. Classical swine fever is different from African swine fever, it is not a deadly disease and the mortality rate is very low (1.4%) and vaccines are available for treatment,” he said.

Tynsong also reiterated that both African swine fever and Classical swine fever do not spread to humans. He informed that the government banned the import of pigs from other states since the last week of April.

Inter-district movement of pigs was also prohibited. “All government owned and private pig farms were advised to take adequate measures for strict hygiene and bio-security and disinfection of farms,” he said, adding that any sudden and unusual deaths have to be reported to respective district veterinary officers.

He also said that 139 rapid surveillance teams have been constituted and said that advisories have been issued.

Meanwhile, regarding compensation for piggery owners, Tynsong said that the government has no plans to provide financial assistance of yet, but added that all piggery farmers are being provided medication free of cost.

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