African Swine Fever outbreak in NE: Extinction threat to pygmy hogs
The outbreak of African Swine Fever in Assam and parts of neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh has brought the threat of extinction to pygmy hogs.
The pygmy hogs are the smallest and rarest pigs and are susceptible to domestic pig disease. They have not been exposed to African Swine Fever yet.
They are found in Assam and Northern parts of West Bengal and are listed as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Presently, it has a wild population of a little more than 300.
The African swine fever spreads mainly by direct contact between pigs, infected meat or contaminated materials and is highly contagious and often lethal to domestic and wild pigs.
With a vaccine to fight African Swine Fever yet to come, Primary Health Care Provider (PHCP) has taken up safety measures and a decontamination facility has been started in the Pygmy Hog Breeding Centre at Basistha in Guwahati.