Assam Govt Revokes Blanket Ban on Pork Sale After African Swine Fever Issue
GUWAHATI: The Assam government on Tuesday, May 26 revoked the blanket ban on sale of pork in Assam. The decision was taken after experts gave assurance of the African Swine Fever not having a chance of infecting humans.
The move was necessary to ensure piggeries do not incur further losses due to the ban. The relaxation, however, will not be applicable in areas where the infection has been reported from. Inter-district and inter-state supply of pork will also be prohibited until further notice.
The Veterinary Minister Atul Bora had informed that Bortamuli village in Biswanath district, Pipliguri village in Dhemaji district, Kotiari, Bhatgash, Nitaipukhuri and Kheluoi in Sivasagar district, Bormukoli village in Jorhat district and Gorchuk area in Kamrup (Metro) district have been identified as epicentres of the African Swine Fever, so far.
A government press release also stated that sale of pork would continue to remain suspended within 1 km radius from these epicenters, also called the infected zones and within a 10 km radius these areas, referred to as the surveillance zone.
“We welcome the government’s move as it will provide some relief to pig farmers, but there should be strict monitoring on the sale in the affected districts and the government should also consider giving financial assistance or fodder to farmers in affected districts and there should be more testing of samples to ensure that the disease doesn’t spread further,” said Manoj Kumar Basumatary, president of North East Progressive Pig Farmers Association (NEPPFA). “The test results of samples collected from Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Majuli and Golaghat should also be declared soon to take scientific decisions,” he added.
On being asked whether the sale of pork in markets will pick up post the revocation of the ban, Basumatary said, “So long the weekly haats are not open, the sales will not take off in a big way.”
The state government had imposed a ban on sale of pork on April 25 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of African Swine Fever.