GUWAHATI: Amidst the deadly outbreak of African swine fever (AFS) in Assam that has killed over 13,000 domestic pigs, the Kaziranga National Park is protecting its wild boars by digging a trench.
The work of the 2 km long and six feet deep trench in the park’s eastern fringe has been already completed. Official sources said domestic pigs could pass the virus on to wild boars while human beings could be the virus carriers.
The trench has been dug as most families at a village adjacent to the park’s Agoratoli range rear pigs.
“We visited the park’s Agoratoli range and found a small village adjacent to the range where the locals rear pigs. There is always a movement of domestic as well as wild boars in the area. As this could endanger the lives of wild boars, the park authorities have dug a long trench,” Agriculture and Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Minister Atul Bora told this newspaper on Sunday.
“This is a very good step. I believe this will help prevent the movement of wild boars to the village and vice versa,” he added.
The AFS, which was earlier reported from Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar and Jorhat districts, has spread to Majuli, Golaghat and faraway Kamrup (Metro) districts. It was first detected in 1921 in Kenya. No vaccines or medicines have been discovered so far.
According to a survey carried out last year, Assam’s pig population is 21 lakh.
The Northeast has a huge pork market. The annual business is estimated to be around Rs. 8,000-10,000 crore with Assam being the largest supplier of pigs. However, in the wake of the pandemic, some states in the region have banned the transportation of pigs from outside.