Monday, 30th October 2017

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Guwahati lab to test pig samples

The inspection is being done for African swine fever which has been causing pig deaths in Assam

By Hiranya Barman in Guwahati
  • Published 24.05.20, 4:11 AM
  • Updated 24.05.20, 4:11 AM
  • a min read
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Altogether 14 samples, collected from Golaghat, Majuli, Dibrugrah and Lakhimpur districts were sent to the laboratory for testing. Earlier, 100 samples had been collected from 10 other districts. (Shutterstock)

The Northeast Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL) here will start testing pig samples which were earlier sent to Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (Nihsad).

The Khanapara-based Advanced Animal Disease Diagnosis and Management Consortium and Rani-based ICAR- National Research Centre on Pig will help the lab to test the samples for African swine fever (ASF) which has been causing pig deaths in Assam.

Altogether 14 samples, collected from Golaghat, Majuli, Dibrugrah and Lakhimpur districts were sent to the laboratory for testing. Earlier, 100 samples had been collected from 10 other districts.

A task force, set up by the government earlier to help it tackle ASF, had suggested that lab facilities be strengthened to enable more testing.

Officials said the move would reduce testing time and speed up results. The government had sent 17 samples to Nihsad when pigs were not recovering despite administration of classical swine fever vaccination. The Nihsad later declared that pigs in Assam were affected by ASF.

NERDDL deputy director Pradip Gogoi said if biological samples do not reach a destination on time, there are chances of it perishing. So, testing facilities in the state would help.

However, the reagents required to test pig samples in bulk are not available with the laboratory. Sources in the state veterinary department said the reagents are generally imported from abroad and they would be able to place orders upon the government’s nod. A test costs about Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,400.

Sources said the department is tasked with the testing of pig samples to identify the reason behind the deaths.

“Without testing it is difficult to ascertain whether the pigs died of ASF as they afflicted by other diseases too,” an official said. According to the veterinary department. over 1,500 deaths of pigs have been reported from 10 districts.

Review meet

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal during a review meeting on Covid at Jonai in Dhemaji district on Saturday took stock of the ASF situation and asked the district administration to prepare a list of affacted farmers for financial help. He also agreed to the request of appointing a full time veterinary officer in Jonai. He said the potential in sectors such as fisheries and piggery must be exploited for development of the rural economy.