African swine fever confirmed in third Quezon City barangay
Agriculture Secretary William Dar called on raisers to report any illness or death to their respective municipal or city veterinarians, who will, in turn, coordinate with the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry to determine the cause.
Manan Vatsyayana/AFP
African swine fever confirmed in third Quezon City barangay
Louise Maureen Simeon ( - October 1, 2019 - 5:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — The African swine fever is slowly creeping across Metro Manila as the disease has further spread in Quezon City, which means more pigs need to be culled.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has confirmed that the latest case of ASF is in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City, the third area after Barangay Bagong Silangan and Payatas tested positive for the disease two weeks ago.

"Tatalon has been observed to have pigs that have been infected by ASF. It was not transported, it was within their backyard raising," Dar said in a briefing on Tuesday.

"I have yet to receive the full report but, yes, Tatalon is positive. Depopulation has already started," he added, referring to killing off pigs to keep the disease from spreading.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte explained that culling started as early as Saturday after they received reports of pigs showing symptoms of ASF.

There are 82 pigs in Tatalon, 62 have been culled already and the remaining 20 are still ongoing culling operations.

"It might be because there is a market in Tatalon where the pork products being sold are not just coming from Tatalon but from other sources, too," Belmonte told reporters.

"It might also come from swill feeding. I think the swill is the number one source. There might have been manifestations even before that was just not reported immediately," she added.

Apart from Tatalon, the Quezon City government also culled 16 pigs from Barangay Roxas which is within the one-kilometer radius even without manifestation yet of the ASF virus.

'1-7-10 protocol'

Under the 1-7-10 protocol, the one-kilometer radius of the site of infection or ground zero will be prohibited from bringing any hogs into and out of the area, which will eventually be depopulated.

Belmonte said Barangay Pasong Tamo is also being tested for ASF but results have yet to be released.

Pasong Tamo in the sixth district of the city has about 600 pigs from 46 hog raisers.

"We also noticed some symptoms there that’s why we are also culling in the area as well," Belmonte said.

"We don’t have to wait to do our actions. It is just better to contain the problem even as we wait for the results," she added.

So far, 788 pigs out of the 900 pigs have already been culled in Barangay Bagong Silangan.

There was a slight problem, however, in Payatas as estimates given by the barangay captain was 1,500 to 2,000 pigs but culling operations already reached 2,400 heads.

"I think the barangay captain still has about 300 plus pigs which they did not immediately report to us. For Payatas, I think it will reach more than 3,000 pigs," Belmonte said.

The ASF virus is now present in 17 areas nationwide and the government has so far culled more than 20,000 pigs. The Philippines has 12.8 million hogs.

MinDA seeks police officers to keep pigs out

Meanwhile, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has asked for the deployment of policemen to help local government units enforce the ban on the shipment of live hogs, pork and pork products as the island strengthens its quarantine measures against the ASF.

In a letter addressed to the Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Philippine National Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde, MinDA chairman Emmanuel Piñol said the involvement of police officers will ensure stricter implementation of the ASF protocols.

"The move to engage policemen in enforcing the ban came following reports that the ASF which was earlier reported in Rizal and Bulacan had spread to Pangasinan because of meat traders who continued to ply their trade in spite of the outbreak," Piñol said.

"Policemen and Army units were also engaged during the avian influenza outbreak in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija in 2017 and their involvement helped government in preventing the spread which was placed under control in just one month," he added.

Earlier, Mindanao local government units issued executive orders enforcing a temporary ban on the shipment of live hogs, pork and other processed pork products.

The lack of manpower, however, led several LGUs to ask for police support in manning quarantine checkpoints.

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