The state government today declared Dalu and Asiragre villages in West Garo Hills as epicentres of African Swine Fever (ASF) disease.
This was based on the test result of pig tissue samples on March 30 regarding confirmation of an ASF outbreak in Meghalaya by the North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL) in Guwahati Secretary in charge of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department Manjunatha C said in a notification.
As a result, restrictions are applicable with immediate effect in the villages under 1km radius surrounding infected premises designated as an ‘infected zone’ and in all villages falling under 10km radius surrounding infected premises designated as ‘surveillance zone’.
The notification said there shall be no movement of pigs, genetic material, meat, feeds, equipment, veterinary medicine from infected zones into surveillance zones and disease-free zones.
All equipment/supplies associated with pigs should not be moved out of the pig sheds/pig farms in infected zones.
The pig farm owners and pig handlers shall maintain hygiene and biosecurity in pig farms and restrict entry of people into farm premises. There shall be restriction of movement of people to the infected premises. There shall be complete prohibition of movement of pig handlers from one pig shed to another.
Vehicles shall be allowed to move out of the infected zone only after cleaning and disinfection.
If pigs are swill-fed, the source of the swill feed should be traced for identification of other possible contact premises.
No person is allowed to take out any pig alive or dead which is infected or suspected to be infected from African swine fever.
No person is allowed to take out any pig feed or bedding materials or other materials namely carcass, skin or other parts or products of such animals which have come in contact with any animal infected or suspected to be infected from ASF.
Carcasses shall not be allowed to move out of the infected premises and shall be disposed of in the infected premises itself.
In case of exception where the carcass disposal is not possible, the transport of carcasses should be undertaken by the agencies under control of the district veterinary office following strict biosecurity protocols and using leak proof vehicles.
The dead pigs should be disposed of by deep burial with sufficient lime cover only and not thrown in rivers/canals/streams/water bodies.
After the carcasses have been disposed of, the premises and any potentially contaminated vehicle and equipment shall be cleaned and disinfected under supervision of Veterinary Officers/Rapid Response Team (RRT).
Preliminary disinfection of infected premises should be carried out under direction and supervision of Veterinary Officers/RRT.
Secondary disinfection shall be carried out by the owner in accordance with the direction of Veterinary Officers/RRT. Contaminated feed, slurry, swill, bedding, farm waste products, litter in infected premises shall be disposed of by deep burial.
There shall be a complete ban on slaughter of pigs and sale of pork and pork products in the infected zone. Swill feeding (kitchen and restaurant waste) of pigs is prohibited. Pig markets and abattoirs in infected zones should strictly be closed down.
The District Veterinary Officer and RRT shall take steps locally to ensure that everyone in and around the infected zone is made aware of the restrictions and requirements in force there.
Whoever places or causes or permits to be placed in any river, lake, canal or any other water body the carcass or any part of the carcass of any animal which at the time of death was known to be infected with ASF, shall be guilty of any offence and on conviction, be punished in the cases of a first offence with fine of two thousands rupees or with imprisonment of one month in case of non-payment of fine and in case of subsequent conviction with a fine of five thousands rupees or imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with both as provided under Section 33 of the Act.
Under Section 40 of the Act every Competent Officer, Director, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department and Veterinary Officer while exercising any power or performing any duty under the said Act shall be deemed to be public servant within the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.
The notification said there shall be no movement of pigs, genetic material, meat, feeds, equipment, veterinary medicine from surveillance zones into the disease-free zone. Movement of pigs within the surveillance zone is permitted.
Movement of live pigs from surveillance zone to infected zone is prohibited. Movement of pork and pork products from surveillance zones to disease-free zones is prohibited.
The dead pigs should be disposed of by deep burial with sufficient lime cover only and not to throw in rivers/canals/streams/water bodies. Movement of manure, slurry and other pig wastes is not permitted although it can be licensed for transport for disposal.
The pig farm owners and pig handlers shall maintain hygiene and biosecurity in pig farms and shall restrict entry of people into farm premises.
There shall be complete prohibition of movement of pig handlers from one pig shed to another.
Trucks and vehicles that have carried live pigs or other livestock or material which may be contaminated with ASF are prohibited from leaving premises of the surveillance zone unless undergoing cleaning and disinfection.
Swill feeding (kitchen and restaurant waste) of pigs is prohibited.
Waste from slaughterhouses and pork stalls has to be disposed of properly by deep burial. No animal gathering in the surveillance zone is allowed to have pigs present.
Clinical surveillance for suspected sign/illness/death suggestive of ASF and sample collection shall be done.
The Divisional Forest Officer, Wildlife Division shall control and manage wild boars in forest areas surrounding infected zones and surveillance zones.
There are preventive measures in free zones (areas outside the surveillance zone), such as pig farm owners and pig handlers shall maintain hygiene and biosecurity in pig farms and shall restrict entry of people into farm premises.
Avoid contacts and ensure cleaning and disinfection at control points (such as entry to farm and between sheds), restrict movement of vehicles on/off farm and control the disposal and collection of fallen stock and other waste.
Pig holders shall be advised to confine their pigs. There shall be no movement of pigs, meat and feed from infected zones and surveillance zones into the Free zones.
Entry of pork meat and pork products from other zones into free zones is prohibited.
It is prohibited to feed meat to pigs (from slaughter or kitchen waste) and swill feeding (kitchen and restaurant waste) of pigs is prohibited.
Pig owners shall take preventive measures to prevent transmission of disease from wild boars, scavenging and stray pigs.
Monitoring the health of pigs for symptoms of the disease and follow regular management practices like deworming etc.
Surveillance for ASF shall be carried out to provide assurance of continued disease freedom in the area.
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