Classical swine fever detectedA team of experts and technicians confirmed classical swine fever in Dharan’s pig farms as commercial farms report a high number of swine deaths in the past two months.
Classical swine fever, a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease in pigs, has been confirmed in most of the pig farms in Dharan Sub-metropolis, Sunsari.
Livestock Research Laboratory in Biratnagar and Livestock Service Unit of Dharan conducted a research to identify the disease following reports of pig deaths in commercial farms.
A team of experts and technicians researched the cause behind the high number of pig deaths for a week and confirmed classical swine fever in the swine. It was earlier suspected that Dharan’s pigs died due to African swine fever as the same disease was detected in some pigs reared in Kathmandu.
“Classical swine fever has been detected during the rapid testing that was conducted in 10 commercial pig farms and in laboratory tests of the sample of the dead pigs,” said Birkharaj Rai, a veterinary doctor at Livestock Service Unit of Dharan. According to him, the classical swine fever in pigs is like cholera in humans.
“The pigs started falling sick in several farms in Dharan in the past several months. They suffered from fever, diarrhoea, vomiting and weakness and died within seven to 10 days,” said Rai. “Around 80 percent of the dead pigs were not administered vaccines against the classical swine fever.”
Rai said samples of some ailing and dead pigs were collected and sent to Kathmandu-based central veterinary laboratory for further testing.
According to Rai, as many as 40 pigs and piglets died in a single farm due to the disease. There are around 100 commercial pig farms in Dharan. The Livestock Service Unit does not have the exact data on how many pigs died in the past two months. The unit says that it could not collect the exact information as some pig farms concealed the deaths of their swine.
However, Rai informed that around 250 pigs were found dead in 10 farms that were recently visited by the technicians for rapid testing.
Dharan is the main producer of pork in the country. Farm owners who have invested millions of rupees in their businesses are now worried as piglets to adult pigs that weigh up to 300 kg have started dying in large numbers of late. They have to endure a huge loss as most of them have not insured their pigs.
“Efforts are underway to control the classical swine fever. We have started distributing medicines to all the farms and vaccinating all the pigs against the disease,” said Rai.