Ludhiana 07 May 2020-First outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), a viral disease in north eastern states of country, is emerging cause of concern for Pig farmers due to heavy mortality and economic losses. Dr H K Verma, Director Extension Education of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana emphasized that awareness and attentiveness of pig farmers hold key for successful protection of pigs from this disease as currently ‘No vaccine’is available against this disease. Wild pigs without any clinical signs are natural host of this disease. Clinical signs of this disease are high fever, diarroea, vomiting, reluctant to move, lethargy, off feed, and internal bleeding with red skin patches. These red patches are similar and confusing with another viral disease, Classical swine fever (CSF).However vaccine is available for CSF and pig farmers undertake vaccination of swine fever and FMD, so farmers are advised to strictly follow vaccination for CSF.

Dr Amit Sharma stressed that farmers should observe strict Bio-security measures through regulating entry of vehicle, equipments, persons and roaming and scavenging pig population. Main entrance of the farm should remain closed at all times. All the boundary walls of the farm should be rechecked so as to avoid trespassing/stray animals.Pig sty should be cleaned thoroughly daily with disinfectant or hot water. Utensils used for feeding sick pigs should not be used for feeding healthy pigs. Ticks are main transmitting agent, so control of ectoparasites in pigs and farm premises is must. Use ectoparasitacide drugs to control ticks and ensure that there are no cracks or crevices in the walls at farm where ticks hide, which should be plastered. Deworming of the animals should be done.Newly purchased animals can be potential source of infection, it is advised not to procure animals under present environment, further quarantine the new animals for 20 days before introduction in herd.

Dr Vishal Mahajan advised that vaccination of all animals should be conducted for Swine fever, FMD and HS as per your schedule, but follow cold chain and new syringe and needle for every animal. No swill feeding (kitchen/ restaurant waste) should be practiced.Sick animals should be separated and inform the local veterinarians immediately. Workers at the farms must follow social distancing, wear mask and use sanitizers/ hand wash regularly to avoid COVID spread.

To prevent the perpetuation of virus in farm premise regularly disinfect the farm with bleaching powder, lime or caustic soda and also use lime or Potassium Permanganate as foot bath at entrance.