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Current Affairs

African Swine Fever

Date: 27 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The porcine industry in Assam suffered major losses during the COVID-19 lockdown, which was followed by an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF).

 

Background

Assam has also opposed the Centre’s recent decision to transport pigs from Punjab and Haryana to the Northeast, due to the fear of recurrence of the disease.

 

Details

  • African Swine Fever (ASF) does not affect humans but can be catastrophic for pigs. The current outbreak of ASF in India is the first time that the disease has been reported in the country.

  • In September 2019, the outbreak of the disease swept through pig populations in China, which is the largest exporter and consumer of pork, leading to large-scale cullings. As a result, the prices of pork shot up by over 50 per cent in the country over pre-outbreak levels.

  • ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs typically resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever. The disease has a case fatality rate (CFR) of almost 100 per cent.

  • Its routes of transmission include direct contact with an infected or wild pig (alive or dead), indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated material such as food waste, feed or garbage, or through biological vectors such as ticks.

  • The disease is characterised by sudden deaths in pigs. Other manifestations of the disease include high fever, depression, anorexia, loss of appetite, haemorrhages in the skin, vomiting and diarrhoea among others.

  • It is important that determination of ASF is made through laboratory testing and it is differentiated from Classical Swine Fever (CSF), whose signs may be similar to ASF, but is caused by a different virus for which a vaccine exists.

  • While ASF is lethal, it is less infectious than other animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease. But as of now, there is no approved vaccine, which is also a reason why animals are culled to prevent the spread of infection.

  • The current outbreak of ASF has affected China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea and Indonesia among others.

  • Other than consumers and producers of pork, the disease outbreak will also have secondary effects as consumers try to substitute their pork consumption with alternative meats and foods, impacting their production and prices.

African Swine fever

Date: 07 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Since February, over 2,900 pigs have died in Assam due to African Swine Fever (ASF), which does not affect humans but can be catastrophic for pigs. This is the first time that an ASF outbreak has been reported in India.

 

Background

In September 2019, the outbreak of the disease swept through pig populations in China , which is the largest exporter and consumer of pork, leading to large scale cullings.

 

Details

  • As per the latest update issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the current outbreak of ASF has affected China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea and Indonesia among others.

  • In China, the first ASF outbreak was confirmed in August 2018 and since then more than 1 million pigs have been culled in the country. In Vietnam, the ASF outbreak was confirmed in February 2019 and since then over 6 million pigs have been culled.

  • Officials believe ASF came into India through Tibet into Arunachal Pradesh and then into Assam, the state with the highest population of pigs in the country.

  • The Assam government decided to ban the slaughter and sale of pork awaiting test results of samples that were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal. It was later confirmed that the samples were positive for ASF.

  • ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs typically resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever. The disease has a case fatality rate (CFR) of about 100 percent.

  • Its routes of transmission include direct contact with an infected or wild pig (alive or dead), indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated material such as food waste, feed or garbage or through biological vectors such as ticks.

  • The disease is characterised by the sudden deaths of pigs. Other manifestations of the disease include high fever, depression, anorexia, loss of appetite, haemorrhages in the skin, vomiting and diarrhoea among others.

  • It is important that determination of ASF is made through laboratory testing and it is differentiated from Classical Swine Fever (CSF), whose signs may be similar to ASF, but is caused by a different virus for which a vaccine exists.