Dar: African Swine Fever hits PH

Philippines confirms African swine fever, culls 7000 pigs

Philippine authorities have culled about 7,000 hogs to prevent the spread of the disease.

Dar said that 14 of the 20 blood samples of dead pigs from some backyard farms in Rizal and Bulacan were tested positive with ASF virus based on the laboratory tests conducted in the United Kingdom. He appealed to journalists to help the government prevent public alarm that could hurt the local hog industry.

Since last month, Taiwan had been taking precautionary measures against the entry of African swine fever from the Philippines, based on what the center said was "reliable information" it has obtained pertaining to outbreaks in Bulacan and Rizal provinces.

"Out of the 20 blood samples, 14 are positive with African Swine Fever", Dar said, adding, "we continue to monitor, even beyond the 10-kilometer radius".

He said the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) is still awaiting results of another test to determine how strong the virus is, adding that it is not clear yet how virulent these viruses are.

Fears of a swine flu outbreak that first surfaced back in June were today confirmed by the Philippines' Department of Agriculture, which announced that African swine fever, or ASF, is now present in several areas in the country.

With the addition of the Philippines, a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,400) will be imposed on people arriving from that country found to be carrying pork or pork products, if they are first-time offenders, the center said in a press release.

To prove that pork and processed pork meat were safe to humans, Dar, Duque, other Agriculture and Heath officials, as well as hog stakeholders and members of the private sector partook yesterday of different pork dishes in a boodle fight at the DA headquarters in Quezon City.

It has also tightened animal quarantine and food safety measures, prohibiting the transport of live animals and meat products without health and shipping permits.

In this May 8, 2019, photo, pigs eat feed at a pig farm in Panggezhuang village in northern China's Hebei province.

According to the OIE, ASF is a severe and highly contagious viral disease among domestic and wild pigs.

Pigs infected with the ASF virus experience high fever, depression, loss of appetite, redness of ears, abdomen, and legs, vomiting, and diarrhea that may lead to death.

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