The sale of pork in the Nilgiris and the transportation of animals or meat outside the Nilgiris has been banned following an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) among wild boar populations in Mudumalai and Bandipur Tiger Reserves.
Speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Bhagavath Singh, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry (Nilgiris district), said action would be taken against any farmers or livestock owners who slaughter and sell pork in the district till the viral outbreak is controlled.
Following reports of the outbreak of ASF among wild boar in Mudumalai, samples were collected from pig farms at a distance of around 10 kilometers surrounding the area where the outbreak was reported.
Mr. Singh said while ASF was confirmed among wild boar that died in MTR, that there had not been a spread of the disease to domestic pig populations in the district. Nearly 30 wild boars have succumbed to the viral infection so far.
He said there had been no deaths from the disease among domestic pigs in the district, and that all the animals at pig farms were being monitored.
A team of veterinarians from the department of animal husbandry have also visited farms across the district and have informed livestock owners to ensure that fences and barriers are erected that will prevent wild boar from coming into contact with their animals.
Also present during the inspection of the farms was Nilgiris collector, S.P. Amrith, who assured residents that ASF does not spread to other animals or to humans, but cautioned farmers and residents to be on guard and minimize the spread of the infection.
ASF is known to cause high mortality rates among affected animals. The forest department in the Nilgiris is also conducting combing operations throughout the reserve to find carcasses of wild boar that have died so that they can be quickly destroyed.
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