With more than 100 pigs dead in Ranchi district since July 27 due to suspected swine fever, the Jharkhand animal husbandry department (AHD) has sounded the alert and asked the others to take precautionary measures, a government official said on Saturday. Samples from affected pigs have been sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease in Bhopal and Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kolkata to diagnose the actual disease, he said.
“Pig deaths have so far been reported only in Ranchi district. However, we have issued an advisory to all districts to take precautionary measures and follow COVID-19 like protocol in case of similar occurrence,” state animal husbandry director Shashi Prakash Jha told PTI.
The department has also initiated swine fever vaccination drives, he said.
“We have also asked that the sick animal should be isolated and handled with proper protection,” Jha added.
The pigs dying of African swine fever
At the Kanke-based government pig breeding farm here, about 70 pigs have died so far. There are around 1100 pigs, including 760 full grown ones in the farm.
Ranchi animal husbandry officer Anil Kumar said around 40 pig deaths have been reported from Chanho area, besides McCluskieganj and Khalari areas.
Institute of Animal Health and Production director, Vipin Bihari Mahta, told PTI “Such kind of disease has been reported for the first time in Jharkhand. The symptoms are more like that of African swine fever. The deaths are sudden. The animals get symptoms of fever, stop eating and die soon after”.
He said that since actual treatment and vaccine for the disease is still unknown, symptom based treatment is being provided.
“The disease cannot be confirmed until we get the laboratory report from Bhopal,” Mahta said. The staff of the animal farms have been asked to take all precautionary measures while handling the animals.
“Till now it does not seem the disease will affect humans as there are no symptoms among the people working in the animal farms. But, we have alerted the farm workers, he said.