India’s Kerala reports African swine fever outbreak

An outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) has been reported in India’s southern state of Kerala, officials said Friday.

The disease has been detected at a farm in Madakkathara of Thrissur district, about 277 km northwest of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala.

According to officials, an alert has been sounded in the area and orders for the culling of pigs at the farm were issued.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease. It affects both the feral and domestic swine.

“District collector Thrissur has ordered the culling of over 300 pigs at a private farm in Madakkathara revenue circle,” a local government official said. “The district animal husbandry officer has been directed to oversee the culling operation and bury the carcases as per the protocol.”

Authorities said a team of veterinarians, livestock inspectors, and attendants will conduct the culling process and undertake further primary disinfection measures.

The area within a 1 km radius of the affected farm has been declared a disease-affected area, and the area within a 10-km radius has been declared a disease surveillance area.

“The transportation of pork from the affected areas, the operation of such farms, and the movement of pigs, pork, and feed from the affected areas to other parts of the district, as well as the movement of these items from other areas into the affected area, have been prohibited until further orders,” a statement issued by the local government said.

Strict checks have been urged at checkposts to prevent the spread of the infection, according to the statement.

The Animal Husbandry Department of Kerala has been asked to investigate the ASF outbreak and trace its origin.

An infected pig usually dies between 2 and 10 days. The disease has a mortality rate of 100 percent.

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