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Lunglei district emergency action team on African swine fever meeting held

The present swine fever crisis in Lunglei District started with the first pig death being reported on March 21 at Lungsen, a village in the Tlabung Sub Division.

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Aizawl: A meeting of the Lunglei District Emergency Action Team on African Swine fever was convened Monday evening at the office chamber of its Chairman Lunglei DC, Kulothungan A. District officials, NGO representatives and BSF officials were present at this meeting.

The present swine fever crisis in Lunglei District started with the first pig death being reported on March 21 at Lungsen, a village in the Tlabung Sub Division. Since then, 431 pig deaths have been reported in Lungsen alone. There have also been 8 pig deaths reported in the Electric Veng locality within Lunglei Town. The AH&Vety Department has declared both Lungsen and Electric Veng, Lunglei as ‘Infected Areas’ under Section 20 of The Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009.

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At the meeting, it was reported that check gates have been set up in the main entrance and exit point of Lungsen village to monitor any illegal movement of pigs to and from the village. Forest Check Gate at Sazaikawn near Lunglei has also started checking vehicles plying the area.

The Border Security Force (BSF) officials were instructed to tighten security, and maintain strict vigil in all the 26 Border Outposts (BOPs) along the 112 kms long Indo-Bangladesh border within Lunglei District. This is in view of various allegations made by locals in Lungsen of illegal cross-border pig trade along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

AH&Vety Department was tasked with preparing an SOP for ASF to be followed in Lunglei District. The need for sensitizing and educating farmers/ pig rearers was also discussed, and the committee decided on organizing awareness campaigns in various parts of Lunglei town. AH&Vety Department land in Electric Veng was also designated as a mass burial site for Lunglei town.

Meanwhile, AH&Vety Minister Dr K Beichhua chaired a high level meeting today at the SAD Conference Hall, MINECO, Aizawl, to take stock of African Swine Flu (ASF) outbreak in Mizoram. Death toll of pigs amounted to 671 till this morning, as per reports received by the Department of AH & Vety.

The government has so far declared Lungsen village in Lunglei District; Electric Veng, Lunglei; Zawlnuam, Mamit District; Edenthar and Armed Veng within Aizawl city as infected areas.

Officials of the department said that samples sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal tested positive for ASF. Further confirmation to identify the serotype through genome sequencing is still awaited.

The AH&Vety Minister, accompanied by top officials of the Department had visited Lungsen village on Thursday (08/04/2021) last week to assess the ground situation, and inspect the safety measures being followed. He also convened a meeting with officials, VCs, YMAs to devise further course of action in managing the outbreak.

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