Panic grips Kerala’s Wayanad as pig farms report African Swine Fever cases

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A state of panic is engulfing Kerala’s mountainous district of Wayanad after two farms reported extremely contagious African swine fever and the virus claimed the lives of 44 pigs. The precautionary culling of pigs has begun on the directions of the Animal Husbandry Department. As of July 25, 685 pigs had been culled in 5 farms in Wayanad’s Mananthavady township and Thavinjal village.

based on dr Mini Jose, senior illness investigation officer of the animal husbandry division, the culling crew carried out the duty within the farms situated inside a 1 km radius and disinfected the world. “Two teams of experts were involved in the operation and their members were quarantined for 24 hours as a precaution. The culled pigs were buried in deep pits,” Jose stated.

This is the primary time African swine fever has been reported in Kerala, the place pig farms are concentrated in Wayanad. Around 244 registered farmers within the district are at the moment breeding 4,740 piglets and 6,454 meat pigs. The virus outbreak threatens to have an effect on their livelihoods.

Animal Husbandry Department officers say there isn’t any purpose for an unreasonable alarm. “There is no need to panic as swine fever does not spread to other animals or people,” stated Dr. Rajesh VR, Animal Husbandry Officer of Wayanad District. According to him, precautionary measures have been taken to curb the unfold of the illness. “Once African swine fever is reported in an area, we have no choice but to kill the infected animals and disinfect the area. The virus is highly contagious.”

Animal Breeding Minister J. Chinchu Rani advised INDIA TODAY the state authorities has banned the interstate sale and transportation of hogs and pork. Checkpoints in Wayanad had been ordered to examine automobiles transporting animals and the transport of pigs and pork out of the district was prohibited.

The state authorities directed Meet Products of India, a public sector entity based mostly in Koothattukulam, to purchase pork from protected zones in Wayanad to assist farmers.

African swine fever was first recognized in Kenya in 1910. Cases in India had been first reported in 2020. Following a latest central authorities warning, Kerala started tightening biosecurity measures in early July.

The introduced compensation for culled pigs ranges from Rs 2,200 to Rs 15,000 relying on animal weight. Farmers say this might not be sufficient as dropping pigs will go away them in financial hardship as lots of them arrange their farms and took out loans throughout Covid. “I am heartbroken – 360 pigs have been culled on my farm. I appealed to the officials not to kill her. I have invested over Rs 1 crore to set up the farm. I don’t know how to pay back my bank loan,” said MV Vincent, a pig farmer in Thavinjal village.

Like him, Jini Shaji, who runs a pig farm in the township of Mananthavady, is shaken. The virus wiped out 42 pigs on her farm. “I do not know how the virus is transmitted to my farm. I misplaced every thing. The farm was my solely livelihood,” she stated.

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