The Manipur veterinary department has officially confirmed an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Imphal West district, specifically centered around a pig farm in Eroisemba, Imphal West. In response to this concerning development, a notification has been issued, effectively designating Imphal West as a controlled area for ASF. This entails strict restrictions on the movement of pigs and any materials that might have come into contact with infected animals.
Pig farmers in the region are facing significant financial losses and considerable anxiety due to the spread of ASF. Pork, which holds a cherished place in Manipur's culinary culture, is now reportedly being sold at elevated prices, ranging from Rs 180 to 200 per kilogram.
This confirmation of the ASF outbreak comes as a result of a directive from the Manipur government's Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department, and it was issued on Friday, October 13. In response, Imphal West Deputy Commissioner and Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Ng Ibotombi Singh, have been tasked with taking immediate measures to contain the spread of ASF.
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 percent. 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.