The Punjab government, on Tuesday, notified four more areas in the Patiala district as African Swine Fever (ASF) infected zones.
Disclosing this, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar said villages – Rawas Brahmanan and Gangrola, Babu Singh Colony Ablowal and Baba Jeewan Singh Basti, Passi Road Patiala – have been notified as the epicenters of the disease after the confirmation of ASF in the samples of these areas by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) -National High Security Animal Disease Institute, Bhopal.
Taking immediate action to contain the disease, the Animal Husbandry Department has declared zero to one kilometer (km) area of the epicentres as “infected zones” while zero to 10 km area is classified as “surveillance zones.” Earlier, two villages Bilaspur and Sanauri Adda in Patiala were announced as “epicenter” of the disease on 19 August after ASF was detected in swine samples.
The minister said, as per the National Action Plan for Control, Containment and Eradication of African Swine Fever (June 2020), no live or dead pig (including feral or wild pigs), unprocessed pig meat, feed or any material from the piggery farms or backyard piggery will be taken out of or brought into the infected zone and no person will bring or attempt to bring into the market any pig or pig products which is known to be infected with the scheduled disease.
Bhullar said there is no need to panic over ASF as this disease is non-zoonotic, hence it does not infect humans. However, it’s an incurable and fatal disease which can be prevented only by adopting precautions, he added.
The minister also urged the pig farmers to cooperate with the government for preventing the disease, saying that they should not visit other farms, places or districts and should prepare feed for the swine on their farm and restrict pig traders and their vehicles to visit their farms.
After an extensive discussion with the central team, Chief Secretary RD Dhiman directed the senior officers of all the concerned departments to prepare a detailed report of the damages by the end of the season and activate the field officers accordingly.