The Principal Secretary to the Government of Punjab Jaspal Singh wrote to the Nagaland Commissioner and Secretary, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry department seeking permission for transportation of pigs to the Northeastern state.
Claiming that the Punjab is free from the African Swine Fever in pigs, Singh said, “The North Eastern states are the actual consumers of pork in the country, where the Punjab farmers sell their pigs.”
It may be mentioned that Northern Regional Disease Diagnostics Laboratory on May 11th, 2020 wrote to Singh claiming that there was no African Swine Fever case.
Piggery is in its development stage in Punjab and is being promoted by the Animal Husbandry Department through its network of Government Piggery Farms, Veterinary Hospitals, and training centers for farmers. The piggery farmers of the state rear their stock in strict hygienic conditions and feed a quality diet.
The department also ensures that pigs are regularly dewormed and vaccinated against Classical Swine Fever as well as Foot and Mouth disease.
“Health certificate and vaccination certificate from local government Veterinary Officer shall accompany the consignment of pigs being sent from Punjab to Nagaland or other NE states. Robust biosecurity measures are also being implemented in the wake of the threat of ASF,” the letter to Nagaland stated.
The first instance of African swine fever killed around 2,500 pigs across 306 villages in Assam, Animal Husbandry Minister Atul Bora said.
Amid conjecture that the recent outbreak of the African Swine Fever in the state is linked to the coronavirus (as both diseases are said to have come from China), Bora clarified that there is no evidence to suggest that. “There is no connection between Covid and the disease and people can still consume pork meat”, Bora said, adding that this has been confirmed by a panel of experts and scientists.
Although the virus was detected in February of 2020, it was originally reported in a region adjoining India’s Arunachal Pradesh. “From there, we believe the infection spread to India”, the Minister further informed.
The Minister also said that in China, the virus was first reported in the Jinjiang district and later spread to Kachin state in Myanmar. The Minister also informed that humans can relay the disease and spread it among pigs. However, humans are not affected.
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