J Chinchurani | Mathrubhumi file photo
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has said it would distribute this month itself the compensation to pig farmers in Wayanad and Kannur districts, who had suffered loss due the outbreak of African swine fever.
The government also made it clear it would pay the full amount without waiting for the central allocation in this connection. Pigs had been culled in these districts following the outbreak.
State Minister for Animal husbandry and Dairy Development, J Chinchurani said adequate amount for the preventive steps taken and for the compensation will be spent from the corpus fund of the Animal Disease Control Project of the department.
A government order has been issued for the same, she said, adding that respective district animal welfare officers have been instructed to assess the losses incurred by the farmers.
The state government had taken all precautionary measures following the reports of African Swine fever in north eastern states and in Bihar, but the infection was confirmed in Mananthavady, Thavinjal and Nenmeni in Wayanad district and Kanichar panchayat in Kannur, the minister detailed.
Then, as per the central government's action plan, pigs in farms within one kilometer radius of the epicenter of the disease had to be culled.
As many as 702 pigs in Wayanad and 247 pigs in Kannur have been culled so far, she said.
Normally, the compensation amount is to be borne jointly by the state and the central governments.
"However, here the Kerala government will pay the full amount immediately without waiting for the central allocation and will demand for the same later," Chinchurani said.
The minister also said she would soon visit the affected districts and distribute compensation to the farmers who had lost their pigs.
The members of the rapid action forces, formed under the department, would be felicitated for the effective preventive measures taken by them, she added.
Kerala had in July tightened biosecurity measures following an alert from the Centre that African swine fever had been reported in Bihar and a few northeastern States.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), African swine fever is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease of domestic pigs.
It was first detected in Kenya, East Africa, in 1921 as a disease that killed settlers' pigs. Contact with warthogs was proven to be an important factor in transmission of the virus.