Leyte town logs 1st ASF case in Visayas

Louise Maureen Simeon, Miriam Desacada (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The first case of African swine fever (ASF) in the Visayas has been detected in two barangays in Abuyog, Leyte.

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Eastern Visayas regional office confirmed yesterday that blood samples from hogs in backyard farms in Barangays Can-aporong and Bunga tested positive for ASF.

The Abuyog municipal agricultural office said it received reports on “unusual swine mortalities” in backyard piggeries in the two barangays last month.

This prompted the Leyte provincial veterinary office in coordination with the DA regional office to gather samples from the piggeries.

The DA said four of seven samples tested positive for ASF during initial screening. Confirmatory tests conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry also yielded positive results.

DA regional director Angel Enriquez said they coordinated with the office of Abuyog Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya to convene a quick response team and finalize an ASF action plan for Eastern Visayas.

Traya created a task force to prevent and control the spread of the disease. He ordered a ban on the movement of hogs to and from the town until Feb. 15.

”Hogs should be strictly confined in barangays where they are being raised either for commercial or private purposes,” he said.

Three veterinary quarantine checkpoints were set up at the boundaries of Abuyog.

The local government unit will start culling hogs within the 500-meter radius. Affected hog raisers will be indemnified as per DA rules.

Losses due to ASF were pegged at P135 billion.

While the DA said 430,000 hogs were affected by the swine disease, stakeholders claimed more than five million hogs have been culled.

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