The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food (PCAFI) wants the Department of Agriculture and local government units to ensure the strict implementation of protocol to dispose of dead pigs.
Stricter biosecurity pushed amid ASF
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The private sector is calling on the government to beef up and impose stricter biosecurity measures against the spread of the dreaded African swine fever (ASF), an epidemic that could potentially damage the country’s P260-billion hog industry.

The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food (PCAFI) wants the Department of Agriculture and local government units to ensure the strict implementation of protocol to dispose of dead pigs.

Some of the dead hogs suspected of being infected by ASF have been found floating in the Marikina River.

“Offenders should be prosecuted as this is apparently a violation of certain memorandum act of DA regarding the disposal of dead hogs,” PCAFI president Danilo Fausto said.

“Stricter implementation of biosecurity procedures should be observed,” he said.

Fausto said there should also be more information program declaring the scare against hog consumption since ASF does not adversely affect human health.

“People should not be afraid of ASF,” Fausto said.

Edwin Chen, president of PCAFI member Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (Propork), said hog raisers, particularly those from small backyards, should be advised to observe proper disposal of dead hogs.

“If the farm is in the backyard, the hogs should be culled first then buried immediately outside the farm at a depth that may not be disturbed by other animals. Depending on the number, it should be within a certain depth, maybe two meters if there are only a few,”  Chen said.

“In commercial farms or in a locality, DA people have designated areas for burying these. The site should not be near a waterway or a creek,” he added.

Agriculture spokesperson Noel Reyes said the government would be prosecuting offenders on the handling of dead hogs based on the Animal Welfare Act and the Solid Waste Management Law.

The DA recently announced the result of the confirmatory polymerase chain reaction test on the swine blood samples collected from small backyard farms in Rizal.

It is still awaiting the results of the viral isolation test, which is seen to be more definitive in terms of identifying the nature of the virus detected.

The PCR test result from the World Reference Laboratory in Pirthbright in England, which is also the World Organization for Animal Health Reference Laboratory for ASF, confirmed that majority of the blood samples were ASF positive.

According to the European Union Reference Laboratory for ASF, the PCR amplifies small fragments of viral DNA to detectable quantities, enabling rapid diagnosis of ASF.

The PCR test result serves as basis for authorities to perform necessary measures accordingly.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER PHILIPPINE CHAMBER OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
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