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African Swine Fever breaks out in Tripura, govt orders mass execution of pigs

Agartala (Tripura) : After Mizoram, cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) have been detected in Tripura's Animal Resources Development Department (ARDD)-run government breeding farm located at Devipur under Sepahijala district, top sources in the department told ANI requesting anonymity. A team of experts from Agartala's disease investigation Centre reached the farm and formed rapid response teams to handle the situation. "On April 7, three samples were sent to North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. On April 13, last we received the PCR report that confirmed that all the samples were positive. Even the symptoms of the pigs now sheltered on the farm also indicate that the contagious disease has already entered the farm. Another report that was supposed to come from Bhopal's National Disease Diagnostic institute is yet to reach Tripura," a senior official in the Animal Husbandry Department run disease investigation laboratory said. Primarily, the source said, the farmworkers have been advised to deal with the disease. "We have formed two task forces comprising ten people in each of the groups. The teams will be led by a veterinary officer and they will directly report to the panel of nodal officers. In charge of ARDD's Disease Investigation laboratory Dr Mrinal Dutta and SDM Bishalgarh have been included in the team of nodal officers," the source added. In the first phase, 8 feet by 8 feet graves had been dug up to bury the infected pigs after mass execution. Besides, all the pigs are being reared in a private capacity. "Initially pigs available within the one-kilometre radius of the farm will be executed and buried to contain the spread of the disease. We are trying to confine the disease within the farm and its peripheries so that the virus does not spread across the state," said the sources. On being asked about official confirmation, sources said, according to the process, the laboratory authorities will write a letter to the Government of India and the Centre will communicate the matter to the Chief Secretary. "All the further proceedings can only be carried out once the official letter reaches the state government," he added. According to officials, a total of 63 mature pigs died due to unknown reasons which raised an alarm. Before the outbreak, there were 265 mature pigs and 185 piglets in the pig shed of the farm.

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