Infectious diseases hit animals in Arunachal, Mizoram
Itanagar/ Aizawl, April 24 (IANS): Amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the region, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has hit some semi-wild mithuns in Arunachal Pradesh, while African Swine Fever (ASF) has struck some pigs in Mizoram, leading to their deaths, officials said on Saturday.
The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department of Arunachal Pradesh has deployed several teams to the districts to assess the extent of the outbreak of FMD.
Though the officials did not specify the number of mithuns that died of this disease, the villagers have said at least 12 animals have died and a large number of the animals have fallen sick in Riga, Pangkong, Riew and Sitang villages in Siang district.
The Deputy Director of the animal husbandry department, Tachi Taku, said that an outbreak of FMD has been reported from many districts, though the animals have been infected mostly in the districts by the Siang river.
According to the official, over 100,000 animals were vaccinated in the first phase in October last year and they are waiting for vaccines from the Centre for the second phase.
The FMD, an infectious viral disease, has also infected some vaccinated cattle and pigs, but the mithuns are the most affected species.
Local media reported that deaths of several mithuns due to FMD were reported from various villages in Upper Siang, East Siang and West Siang districts earlier this month.
The tribals of Arunachal Pradesh are traditionally linked to mithuns, a bovine species, and they also consume their meat. The milk of mithun is considered nutritionally superior to cow or goat milk. There is a traditional practice in Arunachal Pradesh where the family of a man tying the nuptial knot provides one or two mithuns to the bride’s parents as a gift.
Officials in Aizawl said that ASF, the dreaded pig disease, has currently affected animals in five districts – Aizawl, Lunglei, Serchhip, Mamit and Siaha – out of the mountainous state’s 11 districts. Over 1,000 pigs have been killed due to the ASF in Mizoram during the past one month.
This is the second outbreak of an animal disease in the northeast region this year. The ASF had also killed more than 1,200 pigs in Mizoram earlier this year, causing a loss of about INR 5 crore to farmers in four districts in the state.