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Pig deaths

July 29: Twenty pigs have died in a farm of the state animal resource department at Ramsai in Mainaguri and their blood samples have been sent for testing.

Pigs from different areas of Siliguri subdivision, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts had been brought to the farm after local authorities began a drive to wind up piggeries to check the spread of Japanese Encephalitis.

Pigs are considered as the natural reservoirs of the Japanese Encephalitis virus.

“So far, 345 pigs have been brought to the farm since July 26. Twenty pigs have died till date. There are chances that the animals might have died due to congestion or heart failure but we are not taking chances. Our doctors are conducting tests on blood samples of the dead animals to check if they died from any viral disease,” said Biplab Das, the co-ordinator of the farm.

“The blood samples of these animals will also be sent to the state ARD lab in Calcutta. Around 25 different tests would be conducted on the samples,” said a source.