ASF spreads to Bicol
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Efforts to stop the African swine fever (ASF) from spreading across the country seem to be falling short as the disease has affected hogs in the Bicol region.

The first ASF case in the region was recorded six months after an outbreak was reported in Rizal, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported yesterday.

The case was confirmed in Barangay Sto. Domingo in Bombon, Camarines Sur following laboratory tests conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry, the agency said.

“The death of two pigs in the village was reported to the DA regional office on Feb. 10. A monitoring and surveillance team was immediately dispatched in the area to take blood samples of the animals. The samples were sent to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Reference Laboratory in Quezon City,” the DA said.

It said the farm was closely monitored even before results of laboratory tests were released.

When subsequent hog deaths were noted in the area, the DA alerted local government units and asked the police to assist the team in setting up and manning checkpoints to prevent hog transport from Bombon to neighboring villages.

Officials of the nearby town of Calabanga were also advised to set up checkpoints to prevent the entry of hogs from Bombon.

In compliance with the 1-7-10 protocol, DA regional executive director Rodel Tornilla declared a one-kilometer radius from the site of infection or ground zero as a quarantine area.

This signaled the start of the culling or depopulation of all swine within the one-kilometer radius.

Affected animal owners will receive P5,000 per hog culled. Only a maximum of 20 heads per farmer will be paid. Suckling piglets are not included in the indemnification.

The area has been locked down. Transport and sale of hogs, pork and pork products from Bombon are prohibited.

Camarines Sur is the latest province to be included on the list of ASF-affected areas.

The other areas are Aurora, Bataan, Benguet, Bulacan, Cavite, Davao Occidental, Davao del Sur, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal and parts of Metro Manila, particularly Caloocan, Malabon and Quezon City.

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