DA warns of ASF spread in Leyte towns

Miriam Desacada (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — At least 1,500 hogs were slaughtered over the past two weeks in Leyte, which reported its first case of African swine fever or ASF infection early this month.

Francis Rosaroso, spokesman for the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Eastern Visayas, said the agency observed that from Abuyog – where the province’s first ASF case was reported – the virus spread to the towns of Javier and Lapaz.

A total of 1,063 pigs have been culled in Abuyog, 282 in Javier and 185 in Lapaz to stop ASF transmission.

Twelve barangays in these three towns were affected by the virus.

The DA classified these towns as red zones, where mandatory depopulation of hogs within a 500-meter radius from each of these areas is being enforced.

The agency urged local government units to help in collecting blood samples from hogs as well as monitor and implement measures provided under the modified ASF protocols.

Rosaroso said the DA is expecting more hogs to be culled in affected towns, while rapid testing is being carried out in suspected ASF-infected areas.

Investigation conducted by the DA  showed the virus could have been transmitted by an infected boar that was used to fertilize the swines.

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