(Eagle News) – There are now 25 provinces which have been affected by African Swine Fever (ASF) with more than 350,000 pigs already depopulated or culled, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Dar said that ASF continued to be a threat to the Philippine swine industry.
“Twenty-five provinces po ay apektado ng African Swine Fever at apektado—almost 350,000 na iyong na-depopulate so this has some significant bearing doon sa ating hog industry,” Dar said in a Laging Handa press briefing on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
The agriculture secretary noted that there are only a few countries which have successfully eradicated ASF.
“It’s a very complex problem,” he said.
Dar said Spain for instance took around 30 years to eradicate ASF.
He said other European countries were also experiencing “ASF intrusion.”
Spain had a coordinated series of actions to eradicate ASF which included official reporting of detected cases, detection of possible transmission sources, and movement control of animals from high-risk areas.
The problem of ASF is like COVID-19 in the sense that there are no vaccine discovered yet for the disease, the DA chief noted.
Dar said that the cooperation of all hog farmers and traders is essential in controlling the disease.
“Kung mayroon lang kooperasyon iyong mga nagbababoy at iyong mga hog traders ay puwedeng mapatay doon sa lugar na iyan, ma-contain at mapapatay iyong virus na iyan,” he said.
“Pero kapag kinalat nila by way of marketing this in other provinces, doon tayo nagkakaproblema kasi they are distributing the virus in other places in the country. So iyon po ang problema,” he explained.
Dar also noted that the DA is helping hog raisers in ASF affected provinces, especially the small and backyard hog raisers.
“And this is a big project that we are doing, doon sa mga apektado ng ASF ay nagbibigay kami ng iba’t ibang livelihood opportunities, livelihood projects,” he added.
In April, the DA has identified the following provinces affected by ASF: Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Aurora, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Camarines Sur, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental.
(Eagle News Service)