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GS-III :
  • 04 May, 2020

  • 4 Min Read

African swine fever: Assam told to go for culling

African swine fever: Assam told to go for culling

Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

Disease first reported in November-December from areas of China bordering Arunachal. Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister said the Centre has advised the State government to go for the culling of pigs affected by the African swine fever (ASF). “After a lab in Bhopal attributed the death of thousands of pigs to the first-ever case of ASF in the country, we have been told to cull the animals in the affected areas,”. “We have been told to divide the affected areas into zones and go for culling accordingly. The situation is quite serious since there are many farmers with more than 20 lakh pigs.”

African swine fever (ASF)

According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report ASFhas caused the deaths of more than 3.7 million pigs across a vast swathe of Asia, primarily in its east and south-east, where pork is the primary meat staple.

What is African swine fever?

  • Historically, outbreaks have been reported in Africa and parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. More recently (since 2007) the disease has been reported in multiple countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, in both domestic and wild pigs.
  • African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease (severe illness, sometimes associated with bleeding), of domestic and wild pigs.
  • It is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridaefamily, which also infects ticks of the genus
  • Although signs of ASF and classical swine fever (CSF) may be similar, the ASF virus is unrelated to the CSF virus.

Transmission and spread:

  • The epidemiology of ASF is complex and varies depending on the environment, types of pig production systems, the presence/absence of competent tick vectors, human behaviour, and the presence/absence of wild pigs.
  • Direct contact with infected domestic or wild pigs: This transboundary animal disease (TAD) can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products.
  • Indirect contact, through ingestion of contaminated material (e.g. food waste, feed, or garbage).Contaminated fomites, or biological vectors (soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros) where present.

Clinical signs of ASF:

  • Acute formsof ASF are characterised by high fever, depression, anorexia and loss of appetite, haemorrhages in the skin (redness of skin on ears, abdomen and legs), abortion in pregnant sows, cyanosis, vomiting, diarrhoea and death within 6-13 days (or up to 20 days).Mortality rates may be as high as 100%.
  • Different types of pig may have varying susceptibility to ASF virus infection. African wild suids may be infected without showing clinical signs allowing them to act as reservoirs.

Public health risk:

  • ASF is not a risk to human health as it is relatively harmless.

Prevention and control:

  • Currently there is no approved vaccine for ASF.

Source: TH


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