Amid coronavirus scare another incident has come to light in the northeast of India as the Meghalaya government on Monday banned the import of pigs after a spike in deaths of the animal was reported from some districts in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, according to a notification. In view of an unusual mortality of pigs in the Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar and Jorhat districts of Assam and in some districts of Arunachal Pradesh, the transportation of pigs from other states into Meghalaya have been stopped until further orders, said the notification issued by veterinary principal secretary S P Ahammed.
All government pig farms, private farms and pig farmers should take adequate measures to ensure strict hygiene and bio-security such as disinfection of the farms and equipment, and restricting entry of any outsiders, it said.
Signs of high fever in pigs and any abnormal morality should be brought to the notice of the district authorities, it added. Quoting reports, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said pigs in the two states are suffering from some kind of flu. He said this would be clear once the test results are made public.
Appealing to the people not to panic, Tynsong said pork consumed should be sourced from within the state and should be properly cooked for at least 30 minutes. “All districts have been alerted and steps would be taken by the animal husbandry and veterinary department to keep a check on both government-run and private piggery farms in case the pigs develop any sickness,” he said.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday had asked the animal husbandry and veterinary department to conduct an inquiry into swine flu cases in the state and take remedial measures at the earliest. During a meeting with top officials and scientists of the department, Sonowal directed it to send samples of the affected pigs to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, for detection of swine flu.The flu has recently hit some parts of the state this year.