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No African swine flu outbreak in the Philippines — DA

Ian Nicolas Cigaral - Philstar.com
Pigs
Agriculture Secretary William Dar neither confirmed nor denied reports that the African swine flu virus has reached the Philippines, saying further laboratory tests are needed.
File

MANILA, Philippines — There is no outbreak of African swine fever in the country despite the spike in sudden deaths of hogs in some areas, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.

At a press conference, Agriculture spokesman Noel Reyes — who evaded most questions from the media — said the private sector assured the DA that no pork meat from “infected” areas slipped past authorities.

“So the current supply of meat is from other hygienic areas,” Reyes said in a mix of English and Filipino. “That’s why we are limiting the movements. There will be an outbreak if we fail to contain it.”

Agriculture Secretary William Dar neither confirmed nor denied reports that the ASF virus has reached the Philippines, saying further laboratory tests are needed.

The government has since begun culling hogs in locations that the DA declined to disclose in a bid to safeguard the nation’s P260-billion pork industry.

While the disease is usually fatal in pigs but not harmful to humans, the ASF can cause major economic loss to swine industries. The Philippines currently has a surplus in pork supply.

China and Vietnam, two of the countries worst hit by the virus, have already culled millions of pigs infected by the disease.

The Philippines had declared a temporary ban on the importation and distribution of pork meat products from countries suspected to be affected by the deadly virus.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER
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