African swine fever in the Philippines
LATEST UPDATE: December 6, 2019 - 10:12am
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December 6, 2019

Mekeni Food Corp. is ready to bring back to the market its pork-based products after the Food and Drug Administration issued an endorsement to redistribute to the Pampanga-based firm.



November 6, 2019

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has issued an order banning the entry into the province of "meat, chicken, fish, or any other food products that have been commingled with pork, pork-related products and by-products from all parts of Luzon," The Freeman reports.

The order comes as the Department of Agriculture confirms that ASF, which is deadly to pigs but not to humans, has spread to Caloocan and Malabon in the National Capital Region, anf to Bulacan and Pampanga provinces.

November 4, 2019

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry confirms that skinless longganisa and hotdog samples from the plant of Mekeni Food Corporation tested positive for African swine fever.

It says two validation tests were conducted as requested by the manufacturer.



October 28, 2019

Ate Rica's Bacsilog is made from safe pork, the food kiosk operator says in a social media post amid the spread of African swine fever.

"We assure you that we deliver processed meat products that are certified safe by the Food and Drug Administration from suppliers that use raw meat materials duly approved by the National Meat Inspection Service," it says, while stressing that ASF does not pose a risk to human health.

Reports of contaminated pork products has prompted a voluntary recall by processed meat manufacturer Mekeni Food Corp. and the release of a statement from Purefoods-Hormel Co. that its ingredients "come from farms that are strictly supervised by San Miguel Foods and observe the highest level of bio-security measures while the imported materials come from ASF-free countries."

The Agriculture department estimates industry losses of $20 million a month from ASF infections.

October 27, 2019

Hog raisers need put public health over profit, Rep. Bernadette Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon Party-list) says amid reports of pork products testing positive for African Swine Fever despite government efforts to contain the disease.

"What we have here is a situation wherein uncaring and unconscientious hog raisers would rather recover their losses without any regard for public health and safety of other people. That is the moral question at the heart of this African swine flu spread," Herrera says in a press release.

She appeals to hog raisers not to try to sell off meat from infected hogs just to avoid buiness loss.

"The disease could spread to other pigs and could compromise the integrity of meat being sold," she says in Filipino.

October 26, 2019

Mekeni Food Corp. says they will voluntarily recall their pork-based products in the market.

"Even as we wait for the results of these tests, we have decided to initiate a voluntary recall of all our of our pork-based products effective 26 October 2019," the company says.

"This is to ensure that we mitigate the possibility that our products are inadvertently become carriers of ASF," it adds.

October 25, 2019

Mekeni Food Corp. assures the public that they are doing everything to validate the report that their products are among those confiscated which tested positive for African swine fever.

"As of this writing, we cannot further comment on the issue as we have yet to receive the official report and validated statement from BAI," the company says.

"Rest assured that we will inform you of any developments as you deserve to know the truth," it adds.

October 9, 2019

The Department of Agriculture Crisis Management Task Force says in its latest bulletin that about 12,000 head of swine tested positive of ASF in more than 20 barangays in Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga and Quezon City.

"This represents one-third of the total depopulated pigs in ground zero," ASF Task Force head Reildrin Morales says.

This means that the remaining two-thirds of the pigs or 24,000 were culled due to the 1-7-10 protocol of the DA.

The 36,000 affected hogs is 0.28 percent of the country’s total hog population. The Philippines has 12.8 million hogs. — The STAR/Louise Maureen Simeon

October 1, 2019

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has confirmed that the latest victim of African swine fever is Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City, the third area in the city after Barangay Bagong Silangan and Payatas tested positive of 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 says in a briefing on Tuesday.

"I have yet to receive the full report but yes, Tatalon is positive. Depopulation has already started," he adds. — The STAR/Louise Maureen Simeon

September 30, 2019

Agriculture Secretary William Dar says the government has already culled 20,000 pigs, higher than the 15,000 reported last week. The Philippines has 12.8 million hogs.

"As of today, we have culled 20,000 heads. One-third of that was due to the ASF virus and the other two-thirds are not affected but was culled because of our 1-7-10 protocol," Dar said in a joint briefing with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Monday.

"Most of the 20,000 heads came from Bulacan, from those areas we are cordoning and under quarantine. We also have from nearby Pampanga which is not as many as those in Bulacan," he added. — The STAR/Louise Maureen Simeon

September 19, 2019

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte says no results from 48 blood samples from Bagong Silang, Payatas and La Loma submitted to the Bureau of Animal Industry have been returned.

The samples serve to determine whether pigs in the areas have been infected by the African swine fever.

In a report by ABS-CBN, Belmonte says, however, that the bureau gave the city government verbal confirmation that some samples are ASF positive.

September 17, 2019

Barangay workers can help monitor and contain cases fof African swine fever, outbreaks of which have been confirmed in parts of Bulacan and Rizal, Sen. Nancy Binay says.

Binay says barangay workers know their communities and "can encourage backyard raisers to notify them or representatives of the [local government unit] or [Department of Agriculture] to report if there's something wrong with their pigs."

Over the weekend, dozens of dead pigs were found floating in the Marikina River and in a creek in Quezon City, with Agriculture Secretary William Dar saying the dumping was irresponsible and illegal.

"I am calling on our barangay workers to approach the hog raisers in your areas, especially the backyard raisers, partocularly when our local agricultural offices are undermanned," she also says.

September 16, 2019

The Office of the City Veterinarian in Zamboanga City has set up checkpoints alongside those of the police and military to guard against the possible entry into the city of pigs infected with African swine fever.

Dr. Arnedo Abgayani, assistant city veterinarian, says they will bar the entry of pigs and pork products without the necessary veterinary health certificate and shipping permit.

The city veterinarian's office is keeping an eye on pork and pork products from China "because it is one source of the ASF."

Arnado said local raisers must also submit to inspection and will need to secure the required documentation when transporting pigs and pork.

"As of the moment, there has been no reports and monitoring of entry of ASF infected pigs and its by-products," Arnado says. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

The Bureau of Animal Industry has confirmed that the number of cases of African swine fever in the Philippines has reached outbreak level, News 5 reports.

Outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization,  "the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy."

The announcement comes within days of pigs being found floating along the Marikina River and in a creek in Quezon City amid cases of ASF.

"It was utterly irresponsible on the part of backyard raisers as they did not only violate current laws, but their misdoing also spread the disease pathogens much faster," Agriculture Secretary William Dar said of the dumping of pig carcasses.

"They violated the Animal Welfare Act, as they deprived their dead pigs of adequate care, maltreating them in the process."

READ: African swine fever is now in the Philippines. Should you be alarmed?

ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs that has no cure and no vaccine. Mortality rates are as high as 100%.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, ASF can be transmitted through direct contact with infected pigs, ingestion of contaminated materials such as food waste, feed or garbage, or contaminated fomites or biological vectors.

Historically, there have been reported outbreaks in Africa and parts of Europe, South Africa and the Carribean. More recently, the disease has been reported in countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. 

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