Mizoram once again grapples with African Swine Fever outbreak, 174 pigs dead


Aizawl, April 26 : The Mizoram government has sounded a high alert after the African Swine Fever (ASF) struck again in the bordering state resulting in the deaths of as many as 174 pigs so far, officials said on Thursday.

According to the officials of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary (AHV) Department, the outbreak of the ASF has been confirmed in three districts — Aizawl, Champhai and Saitual.

As per the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Disease in Animals Act 2009, the department has declared various villages and localities of the three districts as infected areas following the confirmation of ASF, and imposed a prohibition on the export or import of pigs from infected zones of the state and other states, besides the sale or slaughter of both healthy and sick pigs.

Dead pigs must be buried with lime powder in designated areas, a department notification said.

Mizoram Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister C. Lalsawivunga held a meeting with department officials to review the situation. He appealed to all concerned to adhere to the government’s guidelines and directives in the fight against ASF.

The ASF first hit Mizoram in 2021 and since then, reports of the outbreak of ASF have been reported time and again.

Between May 2023 and April 2024, the state witnessed the loss of thousands of pigs to the contagious disease.

AHV Department officials said that the outbreak of the ASF mostly occurs when the climate begins to warm up and pre-monsoon rains commence in the state.

At least 47,269 pigs and piglets have died between 2021-2023 in Mizoram due to the ASF outbreak while at least 25,182 pigs have been culled during the same period.

The amount of losses incurred due to the ASF outbreak in the state has been estimated to be over Rs 132.20 crore affecting 19,017 families.

According to experts, the outbreak of ASF may have been caused by pigs or pork brought from neighbouring Myanmar, Bangladesh and the adjoining states of the northeast.

The northeast region’s annual pork business is worth around Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 crore, with Assam being the largest supplier. Pork is one of the most common and popular meats consumed by both the tribals and non-tribals in the northeastern region.