Churachandpur district has witnessed the deaths of a large number of pigs reportedly due to an unknown animal disease with at least 20 pigs dying in the last two weeks.
On Monday, more pigs died with one Papau from Churachandpur town reporting that two of his fully grown pigs, including a heavily pregnant one died without showing any prior sign of illness. He said that he had buried them at his compund, being suspicious that it could be an epidemic that kills livestock from time to time.
Sources said that other cases are not reported nor the authorities are taking any steps, which may be due to the fact that people assume that it is either their bad luck or a natural occurrence. The other reason is that farmers do not bother to report or they do not know where to report.
Meanwhile, many people are desisting from eating pork with certain news going viral in the social media that the meat of some of the dead pigs are sold in certain pockets of the town. The viral news has also affected the business of the pork sellers as their sales have reduced.
It may be mentioned that piggery farming, among others, is a part of the schemes for livelihood including NERCORMP and other NGOs, which provides funds and supply piglets to the beneficiaries, and is a source of livelihoods for many. With more people rearing pigs to supplement their income, the deaths need to be taken seriously in the district.
However, Joint director of Veterinary, Churachandpur Dr L Gojen told the Imphal Free Press that they had not received any such reports of pigs dying. He assured that they will organise awareness programmes and publish helpline numbers in local media so that people can approach them, and they can take samples of the dead pig and send them to a laboratory for ascertaining the facts and take further action.
The Joint director, who had recently assumed post in Churachandpur, also said that he will try his best to help the people and urged them to contact the veterinary office. He maintained that they will organise awareness campaigns for any disease of animals and will launch a mobile unit consisting of veterinary doctors in the near future. The veterinary vaccines and medicines will also be made available to those required, he added.