Wildlife & Biodiversity

African Swine Fever scare: 700 pigs culled in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh

The infection has spread like wildfire in the area, according to local veterinarian doctors

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 05 January 2023
Photo: iStock__

The district administration of Damoh in Madhya Pradesh has killed 700 pigs in the last two days amid fear of African Swine Fever in the area, news agency ANI reported. 

The first animal mortality related to the disease was reported about two weeks ago in Hata block, according to ANI. Later, hundreds of animals including cows, bulls and pigs were found dead in the district’s Banawar area within a week, a veterinary doctor told the agency.

The state’s animal husbandry department carried out an investigation and confirmed African Swine Fever was behind these deaths. 

The infection has spread like wildfire in the area, veterinarian Dr Somil Rai told ANI. The carcasses is being buried with JCB machines, they added.

Swineherds, especially in Hata and Banawar, have been alerted and asked to cooperate in the culling process, said Damoh collector S Krishna Chaitanya. 

Sporadic cases of the pig fever have been reported in India throughout the last three years.

In 2021, the northeastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur were swept by the disease. In December 2022, cases were confirmed in Kerala, Assam and Manipur. 

Pork meat sale was banned in parts of Kerala around New Year’s Eve last year amid Swine Fever scare in Kottayam and Ernakulam districts. 

This year on January 5, the virus was also isolated from the bodies of two dead wild boars at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Theppakadu village, Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, and two more were found dead in the area on January 4, 2023. 

African Swine Fever is a viral disease that attacks pigs and boars and has a high mortality rate. It is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa but has spread to many other regions of the world, including Asia and Europe. It is not known to affect human beings. 

There is no cure or precaution available for the infection yet. 

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