The Assam government has imposed a temporary ban on the entry of poultry and pigs through the Western border of the state. The decision was announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Veterinary, Atul Bora, on March 11 via Twitter. The move was made to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever (ASF) to Assam and other northeastern states.
The veterinary department has already issued advisories to all concerned authorities for active and targeted surveillance. The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Atul Bora with senior officials of the Agriculture and Veterinary department at Guwahati’s Janata Bhawan.
Minister Bora directed the department officials to take measures to prevent the price rise of pork and chicken meat as transportation of pig and poultry to Assam has been banned.
Avian influenza, also known as "bird flu," is a disease primarily affecting birds and is caused by a virus of the Orthomyxoviridae family. ASF is a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs that leads to high mortality rates.
A central team that took stock of the situation in Jharkhand's capital Ranchi after a bird flu outbreak expressed "satisfaction over the protocol and standard operating procedures followed by the state government" to contain the spread of the disease, an official said on March 10. The outbreak was reported on March 3 in Ranchi, barely a week after the spread of the bird flu disease in Bokaro district led to the culling of 4,000 chickens and ducks.
The veterinary department's decision is expected to prevent the escalation of the disease to Assam and other northeastern states. The government has taken steps to protect the interests of local piggery and poultry farming. The ban will remain in effect until the situation is under control, and the authorities declare it safe to resume transportation of poultry and pigs to Assam.
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