Philippines culls over 7400 pigs over African swine fever outbreak

Cheryl Sanders
September 11, 2019

Since last month, Taiwan had been taking precautionary measures against the entry of African swine fever from the Philippines, based on what the center said was "reliable information" it has obtained pertaining to outbreaks in Bulacan and Rizal provinces.

The announcement was based on the results of laboratory tests requested by Agriculture Secretary William Dar after reports last month of an unusual number of pig deaths in backyard farms.

"Twenty blood samples have been sent but out of the 20 blood samples 14 are positive with ASF", Dar told a news conference.

More than 7,400 pigs have been culled in the Philippines as African swine fever is causing the deaths of pig herds in at least seven villages near Manila.

"We are still waiting on whether the virus affecting the hog areas in the country is weak or virulent", Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a briefing Monday.

Among the affected areas were Rodriguez and Antipolo in Rizal and Guiguinto in Bulacan, he said.

The Central Emergency Operation Center for African Swine Fever yesterday added the Philippines to its list of nations affected by African swine fever after Manila earlier in the day confirmed an outbreak there.

The DA is also verifying reports of possible ASF cases in other areas but refuses to disclose where these are.

The ASF virus does not pose a health risk to humans, according to the World Organization for Animal Health. "Let us not allow it to be affected in a big way", Dar said.

The Philippines is the latest country in Asia to be hit by the disease, with hard-hit China and Vietnam culling millions of pigs and scrambling to find a vaccine to contain infections that have ravaged their swine industries.

"We also activated and mobilized respective Quick Response Teams (QRTs) at DA Regional Field Offices to implement complementary measures", Dar said.

ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of domestic and wild pigs of all ages.

In this May 8, 2019, photo, pigs eat feed at a pig farm in Panggezhuang village in northern China's Hebei province.

The Southeast Asian nation in July banned pork imports from Germany, citing concerns about food safety in one of the world's major shippers.

Other reports by iNewsToday