Int’l organization reports 9,997 dead, culled pigs due to African Swine Fever in 13 days

Marje Pelayo   •   September 19, 2019   •   904

MANILA, Philippines – Within only 13 days from August 30 to September 12 this year, a total of 9,997 pigs have died or been culled due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF), according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The biggest number according to OIE, comes from Asia with 8,196 notified losses, followed by Europe with 1,587 and Africa with only 214.

From these numbers, 7,952 were notified in the Philippines.

So far, the OIE said, 19 countries and territories notified new or ongoing outbreaks:

Europe

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Hungary
  3. Latvia
  4. Moldova
  5. Poland
  6. Romania
  7. Russia
  8. Serbia
  9. Slovakia
  10. Ukraine

 Asia

  1. China
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Laos
  4. Myanmar
  5. Philippines
  6. Russia
  7. South Korea
  8. Vietnam

Africa

  1. South Africa
  2. Zimbabwe

During this period, 344 new outbreaks were notified, bringing the total of ongoing ASF outbreaks worldwide is now 8,239 with the biggest outbreak recorded in Vietnam at 6,083.

Though there is no recorded human transmission or effects of the pig disease, the OIE still encourages member countries to intensify national sanitary measures on waste disposal including those from passenger aircrafts and sea vessels as well as impose an enhanced on-farm biosecurity measures.

These include protection of pigs from untreated swill feeding that is common in the Philippines’ among backyard hog raisers.

The international agency also urges members to echo the importance of OIE international standards for risk management of transboundary animal diseases (TADs) to reduce the risk of exporting disease to trading partners.

According to www.pigprogress.net, a key source of information for pig and pork production industry in the world, the ASF virus is highly contagious and the infection spreads rapidly from pig to pig usually from infected discharges and feces as well as by the consumption of infected meat.

The disease is “extremely resistant to putrefaction and sunlight, and can persist in refrigerated meat and carcasses for up to 6 months and for much longer when frozen.”

Hontiveros urges DA to focus on ramping up efforts vs ASF instead of price caps

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Risa Hontiveros has urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to focus its efforts on preventing the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) instead of imposing price ceilings.

“The government should instead channel its efforts to bring credibility to testing, reporting, and responding to local outbreaks, among others. Hindi na nakakatulong ang ipinataw nilang price control (imposing price control is not helping), so let’s look deeper than the surface,” the senator said.

Hontiveros noted that the DA is already boosting local hog supply by distributing mother pigs and feeds to ASF-cleared areas, however, hog raisers still fear subsequent waves of infection.

Instead of repopulation plans, Hontiveros said the DA should also teach hog raisers preventive measures to protect livestock from ASF. She added that the price cap is making it almost impossible for vendors to recover from the “twindemic” of COVID-19 and ASF.

“Nakararanas tayo ng ‘Twindemic’ —pandemya ng COVID-19 at epidemya ng ASF. Kambal din ang dagok sa ating magbababoy na nalubog pa dahil sa itinakdang price ceiling (We are experiencing a ‘Twindemic’—COVID-19 pandemic and the ASF epidemic. Our hog raisers are also experiencing twin challenges due to the price ceiling),” the senator said.

Hontiveros also proposed to revoke the imposed price ceiling to help affected producers and retailers recover from their losses.

“Dumadaing na ang ating producers at retailers. Ilang eksperto na ang tumutol sa pagpapatupad ng price ceiling. Bawiin na sana ito para makabawi naman sa lugi ang ating mga kababayan (Our producers and retailers are complaining. Several experts have already expressed opposition to implementation of a price ceiling. It should be revoked for the sake of our fellowmen),” she added. AAC 

PH gov’t to tackle supply woes in food security summit – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The executive branch of the government has called for a food security summit to discuss current issues affecting the agriculture industry, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the summit aims to tackle mitigation measures on issues affecting the sector such as the surge in pork prices, drop in farmgate prices of palay, and the outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

“The Executive branch is calling for a Food Security Summit, with the Department of Agriculture (DA) as lead agency, to continue to boost and develop the agri-fishery sector through the cooperation, coordination and collaboration of the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector’s industry players and stakeholders,” Roque said in a statement.

The food security summit also seeks to present some models for the agribusiness value-chain approach, LGU-led agri-fishery extension system, and strengthening the role and capacities of local price coordinating councils and regional development councils.

“As part of the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s whole-of-government approach, the summit aims to develop a National Food Security Plan to achieve our vision of a food-secure and the resilient Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolks, and where consumers have a continuous flow of food and producers have continuous productivity, unhampered movement of agricultural commodities, accessibility and price stability,” Roque said.

The Palace issued the statement after the Pork Producers’ Federation of the Philippines appealed to the government for a dialogue to address the problem in the supply of pork and chicken that resulted in the increase in prices of pork and chicken meat products.

President Duterte earlier issued an executive order setting a 60-day price ceiling on pork and chicken sold in Metro Manila due to the effects of the ASF outbreak that affected many hog farms in Luzon.

The Department of Agriculture also implemented a transportation subsidy for pork supply from Visayas and Mindanao areas, as well as in other parts of Luzon to help address tight supply.

Duterte approves review on pork importation expansion

Marje Pelayo   •   February 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s pork supply has been greatly affected by the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) resulting in skyrocketing prices of pork products hitting even higher than P400 per kilogram. 

To address the problem, the Department of Agriculture (DA) plans to study some measures to expand the minimum access volume (MAV) on pork imports.

The MAV pertains to the allowable volume of agricultural products that may be imported with low tariff. At present, the MAV for pork is only 54,000 metric tons.

This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to approve the recommendation to conduct more study and find other ways to expand the MAV.

“Now, as for the projections of pork supplies for this year, the Department of Agriculture estimates that with a demand of 1,618,355 metric tons and the projections of the 2021 supplies, we will need to begin the process of reviewing the MAV,” Nograles said,

In the meantime, more pork is being transported to Metro Manila from Visayas and Mindanao.

“Pinag-aaralan na po natin yan, at alam naman po natin ang proseso. Ang presidente ang mag-authorize niyan, and Congress will be given 15 days to concur with the decision. Pero tinitingnan po natin muna kung sapat ang suplay galing sa Visayas at Mindanao at ibang parte ng Luzon,” Nograles noted.

Also, the Chief Executive has approved the creation of a sub-task group on economic intelligence to deal with smugglers, profiteers and hoarders of agriculture products.

The group will be led by the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Kung mayroong mga grupo o negosyante na pinagsasamantalahan ang pandemya para pagkakitaan ang taumbayan, hindi po ito palalampasin,” Nograles concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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