Dumping of dead pigs in Marikina, QC fuels African swine fever fears

April Rafales, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2019 01:03 PM | Updated as of Sep 13 2019 01:08 PM

MANILA - The discovery of dead pigs in Marikina river and in a creek in Quezon City is igniting fears that African swine fever is now spreading, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Friday.

In Marikina, 40 dead pigs were found as of Thursday evening. Representatives from the Bureau of Animal Industry and the city veterinary office immediately buried the carcasses as many of them were already in the advanced stage of decomposition, said City Veterinarian Dr. Bobot Carlos.

In Quezon City, six dead pigs were also discovered in a creek in Barangay Bagong Silangan, sparking panic from the community and local government officials.

Quezon City Veterinarian Dr. Ana Maria Cabel said the pigs could not have come from the same community as residents denied owning a sick or dying pig prior to the incident.

Tissue samples were taken from the pigs before they were buried and the investigation as to where they came from is already underway. Dar, however, said the pigs could have come from upstream towns of Rizal that are affected with African swine fever.

“Ang problema sa mga initial affected areas, sila 'yung nagkakalat ngayon. Makicooperate po tayo. We are spreading the virus and this is what is happening now, dumping of pigs,” he said.

(The problem now is that those in the initial affected areas are the ones spreading the virus. We have to cooperate.)

African swine fever causes high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages, and death among domestic and wild pigs. It does not pose a health risk to humans.

Bureau of Animal Industry Director Ronnie Domingo said the virus does not survive for long in the water but they cannot disregard the possibility of contamination.

Seven areas in the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan were initially identified by the Department of Agriculture to be affected with ASF.

Secretary Dar promised to allot funds for loan assistance to affected backyard hog raisers of up to P30,000 with zero interest, payable in three years.