Govt downplays apprehensions of animal diseases’ outbreak

SHILLONG: The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department has downplayed the apprehensions about the possible transmission of African Swine Fever (ASF) and suspected cases of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).
The Assistant Director (Disease Investigation) of the department, Dr DI Kjam, said that that the diseases are not zoonotic – they cannot be transmitted from animals to humans.
“The virus, which causes LSD, is not zoonotic. Even if it is a confirmed case, doubts over meat consumption do not arise. The meat just needs to be cooked properly,” Kjam said.
The state government is yet to confirm if there are suspected cases of LSD in Ri Bhoi as reports, in this regard, are awaited.
The samples have been sent to North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Khanapara, which will then be sent to Bhopal for confirmation of LSD case.
Earlier this year, the government had declared 19 villages as epicentres of ASF.
Kjam informed that Lamin village, which was one of the epicenters, and a few other villages, have not recorded any more pig deaths.
The department has also granted authority to slaughter pigs and has lifted the restriction on movement of pigs from one district to another, the official added.
However, Kjam informed that the state is not yet free from the disease since few more samples have tested positive for ASF, although he claimed that they have been able to contain the outbreak.
He added that samples were last sent for testing on September 4 and a few of those have been confirmed as ASF positive.
Asked what precautionary measures people rearing cattle can take if they suspect LSD, Kjam said, “As soon as they observe a suspected case, they are advised to immediately inform a nearby veterinary doctor. Then separate the cattle suspected of having the disease from the others. Lastly, they should take precautionary measures such as some antibiotic course, which will be provided by the veterinary doctor they meet”.

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