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Assam bans import of pigs, poultry from other states amid avian influenza and African swine fever outbreak

First Published: 12th March, 2023 17:09 IST

However, intra-district and inter-district transportation of live pigs is allowed in the state in the benefit of local farmers

The Assam government has imposed a temporary ban on the import of poultry and pigs in the state from outside the state to Assam as a precautionary measure following the outbreak of Avian Influenza or Bird Flu and African Swine Fever in some states of India.

“The move has been taken to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever in poultry and pigs in Assam and other North Eastern states,” said Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora on Saturday.

“Pork consumption in Assam and other northeastern states is much higher than pig production. Pigs are therefore imported in significant quantities from states like Punjab and Haryana”, said Minister Bora.

An order issued by the state government, however, stated that intra-district and inter-district transportation of live pigs is allowed in the state in the benefit of local farmers, providing that biosecurity precautions are followed.

ASF, a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of pigs, and its occurrence had been reported from about 120 epicentres in the state, according to the state government order.
The first ASF outbreak in Assam occurred more than two and a half years ago. The order stated that the entry of live pigs infected with ASF will put the population of ASF-free areas in the state in danger, despite the fact that the SOP for the transportation of live pigs is still in effect.

ASF has infected 22 districts across the state since it was first discovered in 2020. The infection has claimed the lives of almost 40,482 pigs in the state.

What is African Swine Fever?
The virus that causes African Swine Fever (ASF) in pigs is extremely infectious.
The condition typically has a high fatality rate when it is acute.
ASF is a distinct illness from swine flu.
There is no impact on human health and the virus does not affect people.

What risk does this disease pose to the general public’s health?

African Swine Fever is not a human health threat.

How is the disease spread?
The infection can be transmitted by:

  1. Direct contact with infected pigs, faeces or body fluids
  2. Indirect interaction between pig farms with insufficient biosecurity via fomites, such as machinery, cars, or individuals who work with pigs
  3. Consuming infected pig meat or meat products by pigs

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