Kerala: African swine fever reported in Wayanad
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): Right after African swine fever was reported from two farms in Wayanad in Kerala, the state government on Friday initiated steps to prevent its spread. Kerala Minister for Animal Husbandry J Chinchu Rani confirmed the infection in the state and directed the pig farms to strictly implement the biosecurity and waste disposal mechanism as part of the swine fever action plan.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, the minister said, "African swine fever has been confirmed in pigs present at Mananthavady area in Wayanad district. The disease was confirmed by the ICAR's National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD)." "43 pigs died in Mananthavady farm and one pig in a farm in Thavinhal panchayat in the districts. There are 300 pigs on the farm of the panchayat. Currently, there are three animals showing signs of illness. On July 19, 2022, a meeting of the experts from various sections under the animal husbandry department was held and we discussed the ways to bring the disease under control," said the minister.
"A team of experts visited the affected areas and collected samples. Necessary information to spread awareness was imparted to the farmers. A meeting of the District Veterinary Officers was held at Bathery and the Chief Disease Investigation Officer explained the situation and gave an awareness class to the representatives of the Wayanad Pig Farmers Association," he added.
The Kerala minister said, "The disease has been confirmed in Kerala. As per the directive of the Central Government, the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009 (Central Act 27 of 2009) has been imposed here thereby implying a strict ban on the transportation of pigs in and out of the state," he said. The Minister has issued instructions to tighten checking at all border check posts and to prevent the entry of vehicles carrying pigs, pork meat, pig meat products and pig excrement into the state. The Minister has also suggested that the forest department should be informed if any wild boars die under unusual circumstances.
Inspections are being conducted in all the farms in the state under the guidance of doctors from the animal welfare department. According to the said law, severe punishment will be taken against those who try to smuggle pigs by violating the regulations. The Minister also informed that all farm owners should take care to strengthen the biosecurity system as suggested by the Department of Animal Welfare in case the preventive vaccine is not available at present. According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), African swine fever is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease of domestic pigs. It was first described in Kenya, East Africa, in 1921, and soon afterwards in South Africa and Angola, as a disease that killed settlers' pigs. Contact with warthogs was proven to be important in the transmission of the virus.