Amidst the scare of suspected African Swine Fever gripping Ukhrul district, the district Veterinary Department has provided swine fever vaccine dosage for as many as 1000 pigs across villages over the last three months.
According to an official source, the vaccine dosage included those collected by villagers themselves from the office and those administered by its staffers during different vaccination drives carried out in various villages during the period from October to December last year.
In recent months, mass death of pigs due to an unknown disease, suspected to be the much dreaded African Swine Flu, in several parts of the state has created a wave of scare among the people. In Ukhrul district too, sporadic death of domestic pigs has been witnessed in some villages and in the township in the past few months.
However, confusion has continued to cloud over the unknown disease as the department concerned is yet to establish the cause behind the infection and deaths of pig in the district.
“We are not sure what actually caused deaths of pig. Those pigs affected by the unknown disease showed varied symptoms like fever, loss of appetite, hardened feces, discharge from the nose etc. So, it’s hard to say if these are due to the swine fever,” the source said, without ruling out the presence of the swine fever.
“So, it’s advisable that the current ban on sale of pork be extended till our district is cleared from the unknown disease,” it cautioned, while adding that some of the cases could be due to seasonal climate variation as experienced in the past.
Confirming sporadic deaths of domestic pigs across villages and at some localities in Ukhrul town over the past few months, it said that some of the animals with mild symptoms like fever were cured with application of antibiotics such as ceftriaxone and meloxicam, though others died soon after showing symptoms.
“In the course of our vaccination drives in villages and in the town, we came across some deaths of domestic pigs and those infected with the unknown disease,” it said.
However, despite this, none of the pig farmers has submitted any official report on the deaths of pig to the department concerned till date.
It may be mentioned that swine meat is currently unavailable for the public in the township as butchers’ shops have stopped selling pork items. The Small Town Committee (STC) of the ADC Ukhrul clamped a ban on sell of pork items in the district since 7 November after reports of mass deaths of pigs due to suspected African Swine Flu were reported in several parts of the state.