DA confirms swine deaths despite no declaration of hog-related disease
Marje Pelayo • August 19, 2019 • 547
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is being careful when it comes to declaring what virus could have caused the latest infestation of pigs in the country.
According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, he was informed about the swine deaths last Friday (August 16) but he refused to name the exact location.
He assured, however, that the government is on top of the situation and is working to address the issue.
“Kung ano ang suspected na may disease ay kina-cull-out, inaalis, binu-bury at dini-disinfect ang lugar (The pigs suspected of the disease are culled out, removed (from the herd), and buried; then the place is disinfected),” according to Secretary Dar.
The secretary wants to see the result of the confirmatory test first being done by foreign experts before declaring what type or kind of disease has caused the deaths of the pigs.
The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), likewise, said they cannot risk committing mistakes by making hasty conclusions like what happened to other countries.
“September 2018 ay nagkamatayan din ang mga baboy sa Japan at ito ay naging national issue, naging international issue (In September 2018, swine deaths were reported in Japan and it became a national issue and had gotten international),” explained BAI Director Ronie Domingo.
“(Ang) ginawa nila, ang kanilang laboratory procedures, diagnosed that it was hog cholera. Pero 75,000 na ang kanilang na-cull na baboy, (What they did, based on their laboratory procedures, was diagnose that it was hog cholera. But they have already culled 75,000 pigs,)” he noted.
The confirmatory test may take up to two weeks to three months.
The possibility of African Swine Fever (ASF) infestation surfaced when the Taiwan government beefed up its customs regulations by banning entry of pork products and checking of carry-on baggage of travelers from the Philippines.
The DA maintains that the Philippines remains ASF free and has banned entry of pork products from 19 ASF-infected countries. – MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)
BICOL, Philippines – Tests on organ samples collected from dead pigs in a barangay in Bombon, Camarines Sur revealed contamination of African Swine Fever (ASF).
Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Director Rodel Tornilla in a statement on Thursday (February 20) confirmed that swine mortality in Barangay Sto. Domingo in Bombon was caused by the deadly pig virus.
Tornilla assured that the DA and the local government of Bombon are implementing measures to manage, contain and control the pig disease.
The most recent incident of swine mortality due to ASF was reported in Davao Occidental and Davao City.
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) expressed concern that African Swine Fever (ASF) has already reached even remote barangays in the country.
BAI suspects that the ASF virus that reached Davao Occidental may have been brought through “pasalubongs” of food gifts in the form of processed pork or pork dishes prepared during the holidays last December.
Likewise, food leftovers or swills from these gatherings may have been contaminated by ASF.
“Kasama sa mga pasalubong na iyan mga processed na karne na maaring nanggaling doon sa lugar na may African Swine Fever (Among these food gifts may have been processed meat from areas infected by African Swine Fever),” Domingo said.
“Siguro iyong mga tira-tirang pagkain ay naipakain sa mga alagang baboy. After several weeks lumitaw na iyong sakit sa mga lugar na hindi natin inaasahan (Leftover foods may have been fed to pigs. After several weeks, the virus emerged in areas we did not expect to be infected),” he added.
Domingo said it would be difficult to detect such food items at checkpoints especially if they were skillfully concealed in bags and containers.
“Ang problema natin kapag ang byahero ay inilagay niya sa personal bag niya na maliit iyong karne o kaya sa private vehicle (One problem is when a traveler places the pork dish inside his or her personal bag inside a private vehicle),” Domingo noted.
“O kaya ang may dala-dala ng paninda, ang bag, hindi naman pinapara iyan sa mga checkpoint (Or the pork meat were concealed inside a bag, they are not flagged down in checkpoints),” he added.
The official calls on the public to ensure that they are purchasing pork meat and pork-based products with certification from proper authorities such as the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
Disinfection efforts, meanwhile, are ongoing on transporting vehicles at BAI checkpoints in the country.
BAI already accounted about 230,000 pigs that were culled and have died due to ASF but only 20% of this was directly infected by ASF. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
China’s supply of poultry and egg products is likely to be hit in the second and third quarters as the coronavirus outbreak has had a severe impact on the industry, agriculture ministry official Yang Zhenhai told a State Council briefing on Tuesday (February 18).
The world’s second-largest poultry producer, China had been ramping up output to fill a meat shortage after the African swine fever epidemic, which began in 2018, decimated its pig herd.
Poultry prices have plunged this year and restrictions on moving livestock and extended holidays in many areas have paralyzed the supply chain. Farmers have been left with large inventories of birds and eggs even as demand plunged as restaurants and canteens stay shut.
Yang said that since the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to more than 1,800 deaths, live poultry markets have been closed, transportation of baby poultry and live poultry has been curtailed and slaughterhouses have been shut down. (Reuters)
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