March 3, 2020

 

Philippine city confirms first case of African swine fever

 

 

Blood samples taken from hog livestock from the town of Laurel and tested by the Bureau of Animal Industry turned up positive of the African swine fever virus, Batangas provincial government confirmed on Friday.

 

ASF focal person Dr Krisel Ann Ragas said there were around 500 backyard hog raisers affected in Barangay Molinete, with an estimated 5,000 pigs within a 1km radius set for culling. Over 900 have been culled as of Friday afternoon.

 

"Batangas is one of the top hog-producing provinces in the country. It is a P250-billion industry in the country and the estimate is Batangas contributes P5 billion but that is a very conservative estimate because a lot of backyard raisers may not be accounted for," Ragas said.

 

According to the 2018 Swine Situation Report of the Philippine Statistics Authority, Batangas was the second largest hog producer in the country with an output of over 174,000 tonnes. At the top was Bulacan which produced over 259,000 tonnes that year.

 

"Rest assured that the provincial government is working together with its municipal counterpart and the regional field office of the Department of Agriculture for the containment of ASF," Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas said through Advisory No. 2020-02.

 

The province was implementing the disease control measures such as depopulation of all swine in the 1km radius from the infected premise; implementation of strict border control and biosecurity measures have been established in the 1km radius from the infected premise and at the municipal boundaries of Laurel; Sero surveillance within the 7km radius from the infected premise to ensure that the disease has not yet spread;

intensified ASF Information and Education Campaign in the barangay level; and banning of backyard slaughter.

 

Mandanas ordered cities and municipalities to activate their ASF task force and to strengthen their border control and biosecurity measures to prevent of entry of the disease into their territorial jurisdiction.