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Deadly pig virus spreading despite control efforts

Despite efforts to contain the African swine fever, the virus has spread to as far north as Nueva Ecija and to the south in Dasmariñas City in Cavite.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the department had been vigilant in monitoring the spread of the disease with the assistance of the local government units.

“But all our efforts will be put to naught if stakeholders are not cooperating with us,” he said Friday on the sidelines of the Philippine-India Business Conclave and the 4th ASEAN-India Business Summit.

The National Task Force on ASF met Friday to determine how the virus spread but the department has an initial analysis citing the movements of ASF-infected carcasses and live animal movement as well as the illegal selling of infected meat by local traders.

Dar said the department has no solid idea on how the virus may have traveled to Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, since these provinces are not near Rizal, except for the movement of animal and animal meat.

READ: Pampanga sets ban to stay ASF-free

Cavite, which is quite near Rizal, had imposed pork ban but was not spared.

READ: Lift ban on pork sale, LGUs told

Dar said infected hogs in Nueva Ecija and Cavite were already culled and the necessary protocol to contain the outbreak implemented.

“We all know that Rizal was ground zero. Cavite is near [Rizal], we understand that. But the other provinces were quite far, and that’s why we need to assess the situation again,” he said.

He added that the government and the LGUs must be vigilant about online selling of processed meat.

He warned hog farmers and traders selling and transporting infected meat and live animals to desist from continuing these practices to protect the country’s P260-billion hog industry.

“This is not the time to take advantage of the situation. Many will lose their livelihood if a nationwide outbreak will occur. Let us stop this,” he said.

Dar on Friday confirmed several pigs in two barangays in Dasmariñas, Cavite, and a municipality in Nueva Ecija have tested positive of the African swine fever.

Those affected by the ASF were Nueva Ecija’s Palayan City, and Cavite’s barangays Emmanuel Bergado and Salawag.

“That’s very minimal,” Dar said, referring to the number of the affected hogs.

According to Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, at least 21 pigs have died due to the ASF virus. He blamed the spread of the ASF to swill feeding (kaning baboy).

“Those who have been using commercial feeds were not affected,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture chief urged affected local government units to strictly implement the 1-7-10 protocol or the culling of all pigs within the one-kilometer radius from ground zero. With Rio N. Araja  

READ: Don’t worry despite swine fever—Dar

READ: ASF-control measures set; protocol holds

Topics: African swine fever , Nueva Ecija , William Dar , 4th ASEAN-India Business Summit
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