DA confirms cases of African swine fever in parts of Cebu


Posted at Mar 20 2023 07:30 PM

A backyard hog raiser prepares to shower his pigs and clean their pen on September 16, 2019 in Malolos, Bulacan. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File.
A backyard hog raiser prepares to shower his pigs and clean their pen on September 16, 2019 in Malolos, Bulacan. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File.

MANILA -- The Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Animal Industry on Monday confirmed the presence of the African Swine Fever in parts of Cebu province.

In a press statement, the agency said it has detected ASF in Cebu City, Liloan, Sibonga, Tuburan, and Bogo City.

It said that the sample collection was conducted in backyard farms by the local government units as part of the disease investigation and surveillance.

“Samples were then submitted to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (RADDL) Region VII and tested using Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), the gold standard for testing and confirming the ASF virus,” said its statement.

They assured that they will continue to coordinate with DA 7 and other LGUs on the matter.

They also recommended the implementation of depopulation or culling of affected and exposed swine within a 1-kilometer radius based from the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Taking into consideration the Philippine situation and the devastating effects to the livelihood of our backyard farmers and hog industry, the government has reduced the depopulation area to 500 meters,” the statement further explained.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) through the National ASF Prevention and Control Program (NASFPCP) has been implementing this protocol recognizing the burden that ASF has given to our countrymen. The depopulation policy is recognized worldwide as the most logical and tested means to contain the virus in the affected area.

There will also be the implementation of the policies such as strict biosecurity, implementing the control strategies including depopulation and surveillance.

In a separate statement, the provincial government of Cebu said it will proceed with its plan to formulate its own protocol to curb the spread of ASF in the province.

It added that the BAI protocols did not go through consultation with local government units, and are "unrealistic".

"They should be reminded that they are obliged to consult and involve the LGUs and the Province of Cebu in the planning and implementation of any program or policy in accordance with the afore-quoted provisions of the Local Government Code," Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Donato Villa Jr. said.

"Moreover, they should also be reminded of the power and duty of the Governor under Section 465 to file cases against national agency officials who may have committed an offense in connection with their functions and obligations," Villa added.

Governor Gwen Garcia earlier halted all culling activities in Carcar City where samples of ASF were first detected.

- report from Annie Perez


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