Dead pigs washed ashore in Oriental Mindoro
A veterinary officer disinfects dead pigs that washed ashore in Barangay Estrella, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on Monday in this photo courtesy of the provincial veterinary office.

Dead pigs washed ashore in Oriental Mindoro

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — At least 29 dead pigs were found floating along the shores of Oriental Mindoro on Monday.

Fourteen of the dead pigs were washed ashore in Naujan town while 15 were recovered in Pola, Alfredo Manglicmot of the provincial veterinary office said yesterday.

Manglicmot said tissue samples were taken to determine if the pigs died of African swine fever (ASF).

“We need to know what we are dealing with,” he said in a phone interview.

Manglicmot said the pig carcasses were disinfected and buried in areas far from communities.

Naujan Mayor Mark Marcos said five dead pigs washed ashore in Barangay Estrella and nine others from the other villages in the town.

Marcos said they are verifying reports that the pigs were offloaded from a cargo ship that left from the Visayas.

“Meron daw isang barko padating sa North Harbor sa Maynila at nagdeklara ng losses,” he said in an interview over Teleradyo.

The presence of dead swines raised concern from local backyard hog raisers in the province as there is still no confirmed case of ASF in the area.

“Nagpa-panic ang mga tao. Alam niyo naman may pandemic tapos makakabalita ng ganito,” Marcos said.

DA probe

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said he instructed the Department of Agriculture-Mimaropa regional office to investigate and coordinate with Marcos.

“We have dispatched staff to investigate the incident on the ground. Our regional field office will touch base with Naujan,” Dar said.

The municipal agriculturist, disaster risk reduction and management and provincial veterinary offices are conducting their own investigation into the incident.

National Meat Inspection Service executive director Reildrin Morales said initial information showed that the vessel came from Iloilo.

“Disposal is allowed at sea 12 nautical miles offshore. The problem was that the carcasses were not split into two as a required step per guideline,” Morales said.

The Bureau of Animal Industry said it would check the vessels’ hog inventory when it was loaded in port and upon its release. – Louise Maureen Simeon

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