Kerala's Animal Husbandry Minister C. Divakaran Wednesday confirmed that pig fever had been diagnosed and was the cause of death of pigs at a private farminwayanad.
This is believed to be the first reported case of the disease in the country.
"Pig fever was ascribed to the death of pigs by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Uttar Pradesh after samples were send to them," said Divakaran.
Reports indicate that initially the owner of the pig farm in Wayanad, about 600 km from here, kept silent about the sudden death of pigs at his farm. Later, after media reported on the possibility of the disease, samples were taken from the farm and sent to Bangalore followed by Uttar Pradesh.
"We have taken elaborate steps to see that vaccines are distributed to other pig farms in the state," said Divakaran.
Speaking to IANS, Kurian Thomas, who was instrumental in setting up the pig farm at the Mannuthy Veterinary College in Trissur, said there was no need for any panic.
"It would be foolish to start killing pigs on this count. There are vaccines that can contain the spread of the disease," he said.
According to reports, there are around 150 pig farms in Kerala with a total population of around 70,000 pigs.