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Amid Months-Long Ethnic Clashes, Manipur Battles African Swine Fever Outbreak

A joint advisory was issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Imphal West and the Veterinary Department Director effectively designating Imphal West as a controlled area in view of the spread of African Swine Fever.

African Swine Fever Outbreak in Manipur
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Still in the thick of months-old ethnic clashes, Manipur is now facing a new challenge as the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department confirmed an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the state. A pig farm at Imphal West’s Central Agriculture University has been declared the “epicentre” of the contagious disease. 

A joint advisory was issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Imphal West and the Veterinary Department Director effectively designating Imphal West as a controlled area in view of the ASF spread. Movement and transportation of pigs from Imphal West has been prohibited. The order strict restrictions on the movement of pigs and any materials that might have come into contact with infected animals. 

"No pig shall be moved from the place where it is kept within the controlled area, dead or alive, which is infected or reasonably suspected to have been infected and any kind of feed or material which could have come into contact with such animal," read the notification.

Pork is a popularly consumed meat in Manipur. According to media reports, it is being sold at Rs 180-200 per kg currently due to the outbreak and has resulted in a financial loss for pig farmers. 

According to the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Disease in Animals Act, 2009, any animal owner or an officer who contravenes the provisions of the act shall be held guilty for the punishable offence.

What is African Swine Fever?

African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects domestic and wild pigs, often resulting in a mortality rate of up to 100 per cent. Although it does not pose a direct threat to human health, it can devastate pig populations and inflict significant damage on the farming economy. The virus's resilience in various environments and materials, including clothing, footwear, and pork products, highlights the importance of implementing rigorous preventive measures to prevent further spread.

ASF has become a global concern, with outbreaks affecting pig populations in several countries across Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Pacific.

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