Nueva Ecija culls 207 pigs over suspected hog virus

Marje Pelayo   •   October 17, 2019   •   570

NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines – The Cabanatuan City Provincial Veterinary Office culled a total of 207 pigs following reports of hog deaths in Barangay Dalampang, suspected to have been caused by African Swine Fever (ASF).

“Nangangamatay iyong aming baboy ngayon. Kinuhanan nila ng blood sample at iyong iba namang mga baboy na nangamatay ay ipinalibing namin (Several pigs have died in our place. Blood samples were taken from some of them, while we buried the others),” said Amang Soriano, the head of Barangay Dalampang.

Because of the incident, the PVO advised residents, especially hog raisers in the area, to immediately report cases of pig deaths so that prompt measures can be taken.

The PVO added that they are being extra cautious because it is the season for increased incidence of vector-borne diseases among livestock.

“Maaraw eh, expect mo na sa stress, marami mamamatay ( It’s been warm lately so expect that stress level would be higher which might result in more deaths),” explained Dr. Jun Romero, head of Nueva Ecija Provincial Veterinary Office.

“Marami kaming kinunan na sample. Akala namin ay suspected na (African Swine Fever). Nag-negative naman sa laboratory (We took samples from several pigs because we suspected it was African Swine Fever. Laboratory tests turned negative),” he added.

The provincial veterinary office is waiting for the result of the laboratory tests conducted on the pig blood samples.

If the result turns out positive for ASF, Romero assured they will impose the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the deadly pig virus.

Hog raisers assured, likewise, that they will abide by the protocol should the tests return positive.

“Kami po talagang sumusunod doon sa patakaran ng ating gobyerno na kung saka-sakaling may mga sakit na gumagala sa aming barangay (We really abide by the government regulations, more so if pig virus is present in our barangay,)” noted hog raisers Miguel Ramos. MNP (with details from Danny Munar)

DepEd urged to heighten measures vs consumption of ASF-tainted products in schools

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2019

 Filipino children are seen in front of a school in Manila, Philippines, 08 October 2019 (issued 11 October 2019). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – A senator has urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to heighten precautionary measures to prevent students from consuming pork products tainted with African Swine Fever (ASF) in schools.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said DepEd should exercise vigilance following reports that processed pork meats from China tested positive for ASF, as well as some skinless longganisa and hotdog products from local manufacturer, Mekeni.

“Sa mga feeding program na isinasagawa ng DepEd, halimbawa, dapat siguruhin ng ating mga guro na gumagamit sila ng mga malinis at mapagkakatiwalaang mga produktong ipakakain sa mga bata,” he said in a statement.

While ASF does not pose a threat to human health, the senator said schools should raise awareness and exhaust all sanitary measures to protect students from ASF-contaminated products.

Gatchalian also cited an advisory from the Department of Health which identified uncooked and undercooked contaminated pork as a source of ASF’s spread in swine herds.

Health authorities said the swine disease is introduced into a herd when contaminated raw pork is ingested by a pig. The virus spreads when contaminated pigs get into direct contact with other pigs.

Food waste, feed, and garbage can also cause ASF when ingested by pigs.

“Etong mga hakbang na maaari nating gawin, nagsisimula ito sa responsableng pamimili at lubos na pagluluto ng karne sa mga paaralan. Ito ay upang maiwasan natin ang pagkakasakit ng mga mag-aaral pati na rin ang pagkalat pa ng ASF,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture earlier said that the illegal importation of pork products from China was responsible for the spread of the ASF virus in the country.

Gatchalian also urged DepEd to involve parents in efforts to raise awareness on sanitary practices and preventive measures.

“While schools play an important role to protect our students’ health, it is important that we also extend our efforts at the household level. Kahit gawin ng mga paaralan ang lahat ng pwedeng gawin kung hindi naman nababantayan sa mga bahay nila, malalagay pa rin sa panganib ang ating mga estudyante,” he said.

Barangays UP Campus, Sta. Monica in QC test positive for ASF — City Vet

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Two more barangays in Quezon City have reported positive cases of African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to a message from city veterinarian Ana Marie Cabel, cases of ASF were reported in hogs at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus and Barangay Sta. Monica in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Cabel said a total of 178 pigs were accounted in Barangay UP Campus while 16 pigs were reported in Barangay Sta. Monica.

Culling operations, however according to Cabel, will be scheduled only once the City Veterinary Office has cleared Barangay Payatas.

The two barangays are the latest addition to the previous seven areas reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as having positive cases of ASF.

These seven areas in Quezon City include Barangays Bagong Silangan, Payatas, Tatalon, Pasong Tamo, Roxas, Tandang Sora, and Commonwealth. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

BOC reiterates: Meat, pork imports need clearance before release

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday reiterated that food imports such as meat and pork products must first be inspected and cleared before its release.

The BOC made the statement amid government efforts to prevent entry of food products that may contain diseases, particularly the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

The bureau said that RepublicAct 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013 stipulates that “imported foods shall undergo cargo inspection and clearance procedures by the DA (Department of Agriculture) and the DOH (Department of Health) at the first port of entry to determine compliance with national regulations.”

The BOC added that this inspection will always be conducted prior to assessment for tariff and other charges.

To further ensure the safety of the public, the BOC said that boarding formalities on arriving vessels at any port entry are strictly conducted by the bureau and the Quarantine Officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

According to BOC Spokesperson and Assistant Commissioner Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla, all imported agricultural goods contained in reefer containers undergo initial examination by the DA.

These will then be inspected by the BAI, BPI and BFAR at their accredited warehouses.

“In case of meat products, reefer container is sealed by BAI prior to the release of said imports from the BOC. The sealed reefer container will be further examined 100% by the National Meat Inspection Service in its accredited storage warehouse,” the statement read.

BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero emphasized that the bureau is prompt in acting against derogatory reports of shipments that may contain smuggled goods and other contraband and is serious in enforcing the law and the proper procedures against imported pork and meat products from ASF-hit countries.

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