Bureau of Animal Industry confirms ASF outbreak in areas of Bulacan, Rizal

Bureau of Animal Industry confirms ASF outbreak in areas of Bulacan, Rizal
In this Aug. 27, 2019 photo, pigs are being transported by a vehicle traversing Commonwealth, Quezon City.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File

BAI: Not an outbreak in the entire country

MANILA, Philippines — The African swine fever virus that caused the deaths of pig herds in the Philippines has reached the outbreak level in some parts of the country.

The Bureau of Animal Industry said this Monday, according to a tweet report of News5.

 According to the World Organization for Animal Health, an outbreak is the occurrence of one or more cases in an epidemiological unit.

In an interview on radio dzMM, BAI Director Ronnie Domingo said the emergence of ASF in parts of Bulacan and Rizal provinces can be considered an outbreak.

"Yung sa nangyari sa Rizal, wala naman silang ASF tapos nagkaroon ng namamatay na baboy at nagkakasakit. ‘Yun po ay matuturing na outbreak pero di ko sinabi na buong Pilipinas," Domingo said.

(What happened in Rizal, since there were no previous cases of ASF and then the pigs got sick and died. That can be considered an outbreak, but I'm not saying it's an outbreak in the entire Philippines)

This comes after the Department of Agriculture said that the highly contagious viral disease has been contained.

At least 7,000 hogs culled

Last week, DA confirmed that ASF has reached the Philippines and caused the deaths of pigs in parts of Rizal and Bulacan provinces.

The Philippine government has so far culled at least 7,000 hogs as a preventive measure. China and Vietnam—two of the countries worst hit by the virus—have already culled millions of pigs infected by the disease.  

Dozens of pig carcasses were found floating along the Marikina River and a creek in Quezon City last week. DA chief William Dar called on backyard hog raisers to report illnesses or death of pig and let the experts do their jobs in disposing dead animals.

Dar maintained that sick animals deserve proper care and adequate treatment. Should they die, there are strict protocols on how they should be disposed of.

RELATED: Mayor seeks source of dozens of dead pigs dumped in Marikina River

"The DA through the BAI and the National Meat Inspection Service – in partnership with the private sector particularly with commercial hog raisers’ groups, local government units, and military – has taken all the necessary measures to manage, control and contain the possible spread of ASF and major swine diseases," Dar said.

"The irresponsible dumping of dead pigs simply adds scare to the public, and this should not be tolerated. The perpetrators must be punished in accordance with the law," he added.

ASF is usually fatal in pigs but not harmful to humans, the disease can cause major economic loss to swine industries. — Gaea Katreena Cabico



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